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1 O joy for the Promise of May, of May, 
O joy for the Promise of May.' 



a fIDontb IReview 




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A FAIR Enthusiast 171 

"A Great Catch" 246 

Aide Hamilton, " Cousins " .... 57 

" A Great Catch " 246 

Airy, Pierre d', Bondage 302 

Amateur Controversy, The .... 307 
Amateur Dramatic Performances. 

Aylesbury 127 

Bristol 177 

Comedy 177 

Dublin 314 

East York 325 

Globe 127 

Glow Worms 56 

Hampstead 17? 

Italian 128 

Lustleigh Barn Owls 175 

John Carpenter 255 

Nelson 63 

Owl 326 

Oxford Philothespians .... 174 

Paulatim 131, 377 

Philothespians 55. 253 

Roscius 59, 179, 251 

Romany 176, 376 

R. N. Artillery Volunteers . . . 326 

South Kensington 175 

.Strolling Players 130 

A n stey , F. "Vice- Versa" 303 

" A Private Wire" 290 

"Ascot" 302 

Athenaeum, The German .... 199, 258 

Autobiography of an Actor .... 329 

" A Voyage to the Moon " .... 317 

Bancroft, S. B. 169 

Barrett Wilson, by Austin Brereton . 22 

Beere, Mrs. Bernard, Biography . . 30 

in " Fc-dora" 379 

* Blue Beard" at the Gaiety 238 

Bologna, Pietro. . . , 6 

*' Bondage" 302 

Brereton Austin "Dramatic Notes," 

Review of 378 

" Life of Henry Irving" .... 378 

Wilson Barrett 33 

Buchanan, Robert, " Lady Clare" . . 304 

" Storm Beaten" 24.2 

Burnand, F. C, An Autobiography . . 105 

"CASTE," .... 134, 197, 273, 317 

Children on the Stage 187 

Clarke, J. S. 60, 127 

Clay, Frederic, and George R. Sims, 

" The Merry Duchess" .... 359 

Coghlan, C 124 

Collins, M. "The Story of Helena 

Mojeska," Review of 377 

" Colomba" opera by A. C. Mackenzie 290 

" Comrade^" 108, 119, 136 

< 'ook, Dutton, Joe Miller . . . 147, 326 

Pantomimic Families i 

Nights at the Play, Review of . . 260 
Corder, F., Richard Wagner as Stage 

Manager 73 

Corelli, M., A Fair Enthusiast ... 171 

Joachim and Sarasate 283 

Correspondence 46, 117 

Costume Society, The New, and the 

Stage. By H. Beerbohm-Tree . 96, 192 

" Cousins" 
" Cymbia" 




" Dearer than Life" 

Desprez, Frank and Alfred Murray, 

" Lurette" 297 

Dramatic Authors' Guild 249 

Society 195 

Dramatic Critics 373 

" Dramatic Notes," Review of . . . 398 
Dubourg, A. W. , ' ' Four Original Plays," 

Review of 200 

Dvorak, Anton 231 

EASTLAKE, Miss M 310 

Eden and Excelsior 155 

Elliston, Anecdote of 388 

Emery, Miss Winifred 155 

"Esmeralda," opera by A. G. Thomas 287 
"Fedora" . . . 58, 85, 190, 198, 362, 378 

Fendall, Percy, "Ascot" . . . , . 302 

Flexmore, Richard 9 

Forbes-Robertson, Johnston .... 311 

" Forget-Me-Not" Scene from . . . 120 

" For Love's Sake" 6r 

'Four Original Plays," by A. W. Du- 
bourg, Review of 200 

Foyers, The, of the Boulevard . . . 137 




Gilbert, W. S., An Autobiography . . 
and A. Sullivan, " iolanthe" 

Girards, The 

Gomery Family 

" Great Catch, A." ....... 246 

Grimaldi, Joseph, The Elder .... 3 

The Younger 5 

Grundy, Sydney ' ' Rachel" 305 

HERMAN, H., Reverie 153 

Hervey C. , The Foyers of the Boulevard . 137 

Letters of Mdlie. Rachel 342 


In the Provinces, by George Lancaster. 100 
" lolanthe," by W. S. Gilbert and Arthur 

Sullivan 21 

Irving, Henry, A Ladies Debate on . 78 

Life of, by Austin Brereton . . . 378 

Revivals at the Lyceum .... 387 

"Jane Eyre" 112 

Joachim and Sarasate 283 

joe Miller 147,326 

Juliets 123 

KELLY, Francis Maria 57 

Kendal, Mrs 214 

Ladies, (A). Debate on Henry Irving 78, 193 

" Lady Clare" 304. 

Lancaster, George, In the Provinces . 100 

Notes on the Pantomimes . ... 12 

Last, ot "Caste" The 273 

Lauris, The 9 

Leclercq Family 7 

Leigh, H. S., and Strauss, ."Prince 

Methusalem" 369 

" Letters of Md lie. Rachel" .... 342 

Lincoln, Frank 62 

\LoveandMoney" 41 



" Lurette" .... 
Lyceum, Revivals at . 

. 296 

MACKENZIE, A. C. , "Colomba" . . 290 

Maddick, Mrs. Alfred, De"but of ... 323 

Marshall Family 8 

Martinettis, The 9 

Mathieu, E. A., "Talma and the 

Dramatic Act" 265 

Matinee, The Modern 259 

'Merry Duchess, "The 359 

Meyer, Leopold de, Death of . . . . 234 

Miller, Joe 147, 326 

Montgomery, Family 8 

" Much Ado about Nothing," at the 

Lyceum 249 

Murray, Alfred and Frank Desprez, 

"Lurette" . 297 

MUSICAL Box, OUR 20, 161, 230, 287, 352 

NEW Plays produced in London and 
the Provinces, from November, 1881, 
to Dec., 1882 65 

" Nights at the Play," by Dutton Cook, 
Review of 260 

Notes on the Pantomimes, by George 
Lancaster 12 

OMNIBUS Box, OUR . 49, 119, 182, 249, 307 
" Other Days " 315 

Pachmann, Vladmir de 356 

Pantomimes in London : 

Alcazar 16 

Avenue 16 

Drury Lane 12 

Her Majesty's 15 

Surrey 16 

Pantomimes in the Provinces : 

Brighton .... .... 20 

Bristol 19, 104 

Edinburgh 18, 100 

Glasgow 18, 101 

Leeds 16, 100 

Liverpool 17, 102 

Manchester 20, 103 

Nottingham 103 

Pantomimic Families, by Dutton Cook i 

Paris, Plays in 224, 276, 347 

Pascal, Florian and Harry Paulton, 
"Cymbia" 299 

Paulton, Harry, and Florian Pascal, 
"Cymbia" 299 

Pettitt, H., and Charles Reade, "Love 
and Money " 41 

Pinero, A. W., "The Rector" ... 294 

Plays, New, produced in London and 
the Provinces, from November, 1881, 
to December 1882 65 

Plays in Paris 224, 276, 347 

Poetry ; 

Beside the Sea 29 

Consolation 32 

During the Strike 340 

Felicity's Song 84 

Going to see the Pantomime . . 98 

Half-way 275 

Imitations of German Lays ... 48 

Little Bet ... 271 

Polyhymnia 20, 32 

Promise of May 257 

Reverie, A 153 

Richard Wagner 358 

Rosalind 26 

Run up the Flag 64 

Three Days 58 

Three Prayers 372 

Ticket o' Leave 10 

Women of Mumble's Head . . . 159 

" Prince Methusalem" 369 

" Private Wire, A" 294 

Queue System, The 

1 86 

"RACHEL" 305 

Rachel. Mdlle., Letters of 342 

Reade, C., and Henry Pettitt, "Love 

and Money" 138 

"Rector, The" 294 

Reece, R., and Alfred Thompson, " The 

Yellow Dwarf" 15 

Reeve, Percy, "A Private Wire" 

Richter Concerts 

" Rip Van Winkle" at the Comedy 
" Rivals, The" at the Vauc'e/ille . 
Robertson, T. W., " Other Days" 
Rosa Carl, at Drury Lane . . r 
Rose, Edward, ' ' Vice- Versa' ' . . 
Rosetti, D. G. , A Retrospect . . 


354- 355 
. 189 

. 120 

3 J 5 
164, 287 



Sardou, V., "Fedora" 58, 85, 190, 198. 362 

School of Dramatic Art 54, 133 

Scott, Clement, Poems by, 29, 58, 64, 159, 

257. 275, 372 

Shakespeare, The New 117 

Shakespeare's Use of the Bible ... 380 
Sheridan, R. B., "The Rivals" at the 

Vaudeville 120 

' ' Silver King, The' ' 249 

in the Provinces 199 

Sims, George R., "Ticket o' Leave" 

Poem 10 

Sims, George R. and Frederic Clay, "The 

Merry Duchess" 359 

"Some London Theatres," by M. 

Williams, Review of 377 

Stephens, L. E. B., "For Love's Sake" 61 

Stephenson, B. C. ," Impulse" ... 43 
Stephenson, B. C., and Brandon, Thos., 

"Comrades" 108 

Stilt, Brothers 9 

Stirling, Mrs 385 

" Storm Beaten" 242 

' ' Story of Helena Modjeska, " by Mabel 

Collins, Review of 377 

Strauss and H. S. Leigh, "Prince Me- 
thusalem" 369 

" Talma and the Dramatic Art" . . 265, 309 

Terry, E 60 

Terry, Miss Marion 94 

" Tete de Linotte" 258 

Theatres, Bill for the Regulation of . . 375 

"The Bells" Revival 387 

Thomas, A. G., " Esmeralda" ... 287 
Thomas, B, and B. C. Stevenson, 

"Comrades" , 108 

Thompson, A. and Robert Reece "The 

Yellow Dwarf" *5 

Toole, J. L., in "Dearer than Life" . 191 
Tree, H. Beerbohm, the New Costume 

Society and the Stage 96 

Trinder, J. C 59. i3 ? - 

" Two Dromios, The" ...... 127 

"Vice- Versa" 303 

Vokes Family 9 

" Voyage, A, to the Moon" .... 316 

Wagner, R 233, 256 

Wagner, Richard as Stage Manager, 

by F. Corder 73 

Waller, W. F., The Last of " Caste" . 274 

Waller, W. F., "Fedora" 85 

Wallis', Miss, Matinees . . . . . . 312 

Wallis Court 201 

Williams, M. " Some London Theatres" 377 

Wills, W. G., "Jane Eyre" .... 112 

Wyndham, Charles, in America ... 62 

" Yellow Dwarf, The" 15 


January, 1883. 

Pantomimic Families. 


THERE are family callings as there are family complaints. 
Physical qualities are hereditary, and why should not 
mental peculiarities descend in like manner from sire to son ? 
But, of course, accident counts for something in the matter. The 
chance that makes a man a successful cheesemonger, for instance, 
tends to the conversion also of his offspring into thriving followers 
of that useful if unromantic trade. Parents bring up their children 
not merely in the way that they should go, but also in the way 
that their progenitors have gone before them. The young avail 
themselves of the " openings in life," as they are called, which the 
elders, their ancestors, have effected for them at an earlier date ; 
and so certain arts, crafts, and callings, are carried on prosperously 
and uninterruptedly from generation to generation. 

The profession of the stage often presents itself in the light of 
a hereditament ; and it is especially among the pantomimic 
members of the great theatrical family that this fact may be 
observed. The pedigrees of clowns have not, perhaps, been very 
closely considered by heralds and genealogists ; the family trees 
of Jack Pudding and Mr. Merriman, perfect in all their branches, 
with exhibition of the ties uniting the parent stock to the foreign 
houses of Zany and Scaramouch, have not been carefully delineated 
and preserved ; but there can be no difficulty in citing many 
instances of the descent of pantomimic ability, of the clown 
becoming the father of clowns, and generally of a sort of genius 
for harlequinade running through a family. Imagination might 
picture the typical clown-father of advanced age, instructing his 



progeny in the traditions of his profession, giving them the 
benefits of his experience. Should Providence have blessed him 
with a full quiver, it would behove him to explain to his brood 
that all of them must not hope to be clowns ; the daughters of 
his house would, of course, be columbines, or those supernumerary 
characters of late invention known as " harlequinas ;" the eldest son, 
perhaps, with due regard to the English law of primogeniture, 
would be appointed to succeed his sire as clown, wearing after 
him his ample pockets, his stripes and spots, clocked stockings, 
and fantastic head gear ; the younger boys must be content to 
figure as harlequins, or as pantaloons, or as those skilled con- 
tortionists usually called sprites. In old fashioned pantomimes 
a character called " The Lover " was wont to appear, but this 
personage has not of late years been seen in the theatre. 

Pantomimes are not what once they were, however. One need 
not be much of a sigher over the past, a sneerer at the present, 
to arrive at that opinion. What are now called pantomimes are 
chiefly remarkable for the absence of pantomimists. Like the 
woods, the clowns decay, the clowns decay and fall. Who can 
now be found to write of clowns as Charles Dickens wrote of 
them more than forty years ago in his " Life of Grimaldi ?" Even 
the book itself is no longer retained on the established list of its 
author's works. Yet clearly the " Life of Grimaldi/' as any one 
may discover who turns over its pages but for a little while, owed 
.much of its value and of its power to entertain, to the skill in 
arrangement, the narrative art, the painstaking of Charles Dickens. 
" It is now some years" he wrote, " since we first conceived a 
strong veneration for clowns, and an intense anxiety to know 
what they did for themselves out of pantomime time, and off the 
stage. As a child we were accustomed to pester our relations 
and friends with questions out of number concerning these gentry. 
Whether their appetite for sausages and such like wares was 
always the same, and if so at whose expense they were main- 
tained ; whether they were ever taken up for pilfering other 
people's goods, or were forgiven by everybody because it was 
only done in fun ; how it was they got such beautiful complexions, 
and where they lived ; and whether they were born clowns or 
gradually turned into clowns as they grew up. On these and a 
thousand other points our curiosity was insatiable." When he learnt 
that the departed clown Grimaldi had left some memoirs of his 


life behind him, the editor confessed himself " in a perfect fever 
until he had perused the manuscript." Finally he accepted a 
proposal from Mr. Bentley, the publisher, that he should edit the 
book, and this task^ he accomplished, " altering the form of the 
work throughout, and making such other alterations as he con- 
ceived would improve the narration of the facts without any 
departure from the facts themselves." 

His biographer states that Joseph Grimaldi's paternal grand- 
father was well known both to the French and Italian public as 
an admirable dancer, who obtained the appellation or alias of 
" Iron Legs," because of his untiring energy and singular agility. 
It is believed, however, that error has crept into this account ; 
that of the grandfather of Joseph nothing is really known, and 
that " Iron Legs" was in truth the father and not the grandfather 
of the famous English clown. Guiseppe Grimaldi, otherwise 
" Iron Legs," was a dancer and pantomimist, appearing at the 
fairs of France and Italy. His first employment in England was 
as a ballet dancer at the King's Theatre, the Italian Opera House 
in the Haymarket. In 1758 Signor Grimaldi made his first 
appearance on the English stage at Drury Lane, under Garrick's 
management, in " a new pantomime dance" entitled " The Millers." 
From that time until his death, thirty years later, Signor Grimaldi 
continued to be a member of the Drury Lane corps de ballet, 
appearing as harlequin, clown, pantaloon, " Cherokee," or in any 
character he might be required to assume. In the summer 
months, until the close of the season of 1767, the Signor 
performed like duties at Sadler's Wells Drury Lane was then 
only open in the winter. The anecdotes of Guiseppe Grimaldi 
always represent him as speaking broken English. 

The famous Joseph, Joe, or Joey, as his public loved to call 
him, was born in Clare Market in 1778. Before he was three 
years old he was introduced to the audiences of Sadler's Wells by his 
father Guiseppe. The play bill for Easter Monday, 1781, announced 
that among other entertainments there would be "dancing by 
Master and Miss Grimaldi." In the following year the youthful 
Joey made his first appearance at Drury Lane in the Christmas 
pantomime of " The Triumph of Mirth ; or, Harlequin's Wedding," 
the characters of pantaloon and clown being played probably by 
the elder Grimaldi and Delphini. It may be noted that the 
Easter Monday which witnessed the first efforts of Joey at 

B 2 

4 THE THEA TRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

Sadler's Wells saw also the first performance there of a famous 
funambulist known as Paulo Redige, " Le Petit Diable," who 
afterwards married " La Belle Espagnole," a young lady described 
in the bills as " celebrated at Paris all the winter for her very 
elegant and wonderful performances" upon the tight rope. Of 
the child resulting from this union much was to be expected. 
The son of " Le Petit Diable" and " La Belle Espagnole" was 
born almost within the walls of Sadler's Wells, and became known 
to fame as Signer Paulo, a very popular clown for many years. 

Master Grimaldi distinguished himself as a dancer and as a 
representative of cats and monkeys, and the imps and gnomes of 
pantomimes. In 1798 the Sadler's Wells playbills first conferred 
upon the lad the title of " Mister" Grimaldi. In 1799 he was 
sustaining the arduous character of Punch and Clown in the 
Drury Lane pantomime of " Harlequin Amulet ; or, the Magic of 
Mona." It was on this occasion that Mr. James Byrne, the 
harlequin, introduced the closely-fitting spangled dress, which 
harlequins have since continued to wear. The earlier harlequins 
had been content with the loose patchwork jacket and trousers 
worn by the pantomime figures in Watteau's pictures. The 
Byrnes were a dancing family, famed for their exertions in ballet 
and pantomime, but they did not condescend to the characters of 
clown and pantaloon apparently. James Byrne, the harlequin, had 
been one of the ballet at Drury Lane in Garrick's time, and 
survived until 1845. He was the father of the well-remembered 
contriver of ballets, Oscar Byrne, whose Christian name was due, 
it is said, to parental success in the Ossianic ballet of " Oscar and 
Malvinia." Mrs. Byrne, the wife of James, was also a dancer, and 
other members of the family similarly occupied themselves. In 
my youth I remember accomplishing my first dancing steps under 
the direction of a Mr. James Byrne a son of the harlequin's 
probably a very animated dancing-master, who wore many 
waistcoats of various colours, and always carried a miniature fiddle 
called a "kit" as though a full-sized fiddle should be styled a 
" cat " in the swallow-tail pocket of his dress coat. 

Joseph Grimaldi's progress need not be further recounted. His 
clown was probably founded upon his father's method of playing the 
part. This was no doubt sufficiently marked, for a certain Mr. 
West, who in 1796 was clown at Astley's in the pantomime of 
" The Magician of the Rocks ; or, Harlequin in London," publicly 


announced that he played the part " after the manner of his old 
master Grimaldi." " I knew your father well," said the Duke of 
York to Joseph Grimaldi at the Theatrical Fund Dinner of 1824, 
" he was a funny man, and taught me and some of my sisters to 
dance/' But for a certain originality and abundance of humour, 
the clown of Joseph Grimaldi seems to have been something very 
exceptional. " The general droll," writes his biographer, " the 
grimacing, filching, irresistible clown left the stage with him, and 
though often heard of has never since been seen." 

Grimaldi's son, who also bore the name of Joseph, first appeared 
at Sadler's Wells in 1814, playing Man Friday to his father's 
Robinson Crusoe. The boy was only twelve years old at this time, 
but Grimaldi entertained the highest opinion of his abilities. His 
conviction was that if young Joe " had been only moderate and 
temperate in the commonest degree, he must in a few years have 
equalled if not greatly excelled anything which his father had 
achieved in his very best days." In 1815 young Joe was engaged 
at Covent Garden personating " Chittique, a little-footed Chinese 
Empress with a big body, afterwards Clowny-chip " probably a 
diminutive clown in the pantomine of "Harlequin and Fortunio." 
He was also described as " an admirable lover of the Dandy kind " 
when he appeared as Adonis Fribble in " Harlequin and Friar 
Bacon." During some years the father and son played together 
in various pantomimes. But it soon became apparent that young 
Joe had entered upon desperately vicious courses. It was sup- 
posed that in some drunken brawl he had received a severe blow 
upon the head from a constable's staff, and that he never really 
recovered from the effects of the wound. " He became a wild and 
furious savage ; he was frequently attacked with dreadful fits of 
epilepsy, and continually committed actions which nothing but 
insanity could prompt. In 1828 he had a decided attack of 
insanity, and was confined in a strait-waistcoat in his father's 
house for some time." The stroller's tale in " Pickwick " setting 
forth certain incidents in the life of a sottish clown was pro- 
bably suggested by the story of Grimaldi's son. Many oppor- 
tunities were offered the young man ; the public welcomed him 
most cordially, both for his father's sake and his own : as a 
pantomimist he was most ingenious and accomplished, and his 
clown he first assumed the character in 1823 was received 
with extraordinary applause. But his dissolute habits led to his 

6 THE THE A TRE. QAX. i, 1883. 

forfeiting engagement after engagement. He was dismissed for 
drunkenness from Drury Lane, Sadler's Wells, the Pavilion, and 
the Surrey Theatre in turn. " He fell into the lowest state of 
wretchedness and poverty. His dress had fallen to rags, his feet 
were thrust into two worn-out slippers, his face was pale with 
disease and squalid with dirt and want, and he was steeped in 
degradation." He died in 1832 at a public house in Pitt Street, 
Tottenham Court Road. " It was proved before the coroner that 
he died in a state of wild and furious madness. Rising from 
his bed and dressing himself in stage costume to act sketches of 
the parts to which he had been most accustomed, and requiring to 
be held down to die by strong manual force." Joseph Grimaldi, 
the father, the last of his race, died in 1837. 

Pietro Bologna the countryman and friend of Guiseppe 
Grimaldi, made his first appearance in England at Sadler's Wells 
in 1786, as " Clown to the Rope." Signor Bologna brought with 
him from Geron his wife, two sons and a daughter all mimes, 
posture-makers, dancers and funambulists a complete pantomimic 
family, in fact. At Sadler's Wells in 1792 the bills announced 
" Extraordinary Exhibitions of Postures and Feats of Strength by 
Signor Bologna and his children." At Jones's Royal Circus in 
1795 the family appeared in a pantomime called "The Magic 
Feast ;" Signor Bologna was the pantaloon, his wife undertook 
the part of a fishwoman, and his son, John Peter Bologna, long 
professionally distinguished as " Jack Bologna " danced as harlequin. 
During many years Jack Bologna was harlequin to Grimaldi's 
clown both at Covent Garden and Sadler's Wells. The two 
famous pantomimists became indeed allied by marriage, for Jack 
Bologna it seems took to wife, Louisa Maria Bristow, the sister of 
Grimaldi's second partner, Mary Bristow, the mother of the dis- 
solute young Joe. A young Bologna he may have been a son 
of Jack's was an accepted harlequin at many of our theatres 
during the last thirty years. In the course of that period there 
also flourished a Mr. Paulo he was a member of Charles Kean's 
company at the Princess's Theatre, and appeared as pantaloon in 
many pantomimes was he a son of that Signor Paulo the clown 
who was born of the marriage of " Le Petit Diable" and " La Belle 
Espagnole" ? Barnes, an admired pantaloon in Grimaldi's time, left 
I think, a pantomimic descendant or two. There seems to have 
been but one " Tom Ellar," however long accounted an excellent 


harlequin who first essayed that part in London at the Royalty 
Theatre, Goodman's Fields, in 1808. He was harlequin at 
Covent Garden in 1813, and during many subsequent seasons. The 
close of his career was sad enough. He is curiously mentioned 
in a critical paper by Thackeray, written in 1840. "Tom, who 
comes bounding home from school, has the doctor's account in his 
trunk, and his father goes to sleep at the pantomime to which he 
takes him. Pater infelix, you, too, have laughed at clown, and the 
magic wand of spangled harlequin : what delightful enchantment 
did it wave around you in the golden days ' when George the Third 
was King' ! But our clown lies in his grave ; and our harlequin, 
Ellar, prince of our many enchanted islands, was he not at Bow 
Street the other day in his dirty, tattered, faded motley seized 
as a lawbreaker, for acting at a penny theatre, after having well 
nigh starved in the streets where nobody would listen to his old 
guitar ? No one gave a shilling to bless him : not one of us who 
owe him so much !" So passes the glory of harlequins. Years ago 
when those who are now middle-aged and something more were 
boys in jackets, penny portraits of Mr. Ellar " in his favourite 
character of harlequin" were wont to be published by Mr. Skelt 
or by Mr. Park, of Long Lane, Smithfield, for the youth of that 
remote period to " tinsel." Where now is Skelt ? and what has 
become of Park ? The boys of to-day know not Ellar and do not 
condescend to " tinsel." Indeed I conceive that " tinselling " has 
now to be numbered among the lost arts lost and contemmed. 

Grimaldi is a sort of connecting link with many pantomimic 
families. In the summer of 1822 he played clown for four weeks 
at the Coburg Theatre, under the management of Mr. Glossop. 
The harlequin was Mr. Howell, long famed for his agility ; the 
pantaloon was Mr. Barnes ; the lover was Mr. Widdicomb, so 
admired at Astley's in later times as the riding master ; and the 
columbine was Madame Leclercq. This lady was no doubt an 
ancestress of the excellent actresses, Rose and Carlotta Leclercq 
the last-named being Mr. Charles Kean's columbine in the 
seasons of 18501-2 and of the brothers Arthur and Charles 
Leclercq, who were wont to appear as clown and harlequin when 
Mr. Buckstone produced pantomimes at the Haymarket. Time 
out of mind indeed the Leclercqs have been a family of mimics, 
dancers, and posturers. In 1807, when Grimaldi was playing 
clown at Sadler's Wells in a pantomime called "Jan Ben Jan ; or,. 

8 THE THE A TRE. QAN. i, 1883. 

Harlequin and the Forty Virgins," Jack Bologna having seceded 
from the theatre, Mr. Ridgway made his first appearance as 
harlequin. In 1828, on the occasion of Grimaldi's farewell 
benefit, Mr. Ridgway and his two sons lent their assistance. The 
Ridgways were an esteemed pantomimic family. Tom Ridgway 
was a most excellent clown in the days of Madame Vestris's 
direction of Covent Garden, and he survived to help Mr. Phelps 
at Sadler's Wells during a season or two. There have been panto- 
mimic Bradburys, since Grimaldi's great rival, the tumbling 
contortionist clown Bradbury, who wore nine strong " pads" 
upon his person one on his head, one round the shoulders, one 
round the hips, one on each elbow, two on the knees, and two on 
the heels of his shoes, and thus equipped was wont to hurl and 
knock himself about in a most alarming manner. He was, from 
all accounts, an original and surprising clown, but not especially 

There was a pantomimic family named Gomery or Mont- 
gomery that Reverend Robert who wrote poetically of " Satan," 
and whom Macaulay so lashed and so enjoyed lashing, was said 
to be a scion of the house. The Paynes, of course, are freshly 
remembered. " Harry" is extant, a very popular clown. " Fred" 
the pantomimists are always awarded " pet" or abbreviated names 
was a very elegant harlequin ; while their parent, " Old Billy" 
Payne, owned a perfect genius for pantomimic acting. He was 
not accustomed to figure in the harlequinade or " comic scenes/ 7 
however; his efforts they were grandly grotesque, and prodigiously 
comical were confined to the "openings" of pantomimes. He was a 
thoroughly original and most humorous artist, and had served his 
public diligently and faithfully during a long course of years. In 
his youth, when not required to appear in comic pantomime or 
serious ballet, he could assume small parts successfully, even in 
the legitimate drama. He was the Ludovico who, in 1833, helped 
from the stage of Covent Garden the dying Edmund Kean, when, 
for the last time, he wore the Oriental costume and the black 
complexion of Othello. Are the Marshalls forgotten ? Joseph 
and Harry played harlequin and clown many nights at the 
Hay market in 185 3 and later years ; they were skilled dancers 
and violinists, moreover, and won much applause by the 
variety of their accomplishments. Harry, a droll clown his 
sepulchral or " churchyard " tone of voice notwithstanding first 


distinguished himself as the Green Dog in Planche's " King of the 
Peacocks," produced by Madame Vestris at the Lyceum. Polly, 
the sister of Joseph and Harry, was accepted during many seasons 
as a lively actress and a clever dancer at the Strand Theatre. 
Quite in her girlhood she had been one of the best of Pucks ever 
seen, in a revival of " The Midsummer Night's Dream," under Mr. 
Maddox's management of the Princess's Theatre. The Brothers 
Stilt Charles and Richard were much valued as clown and 
sprite. Richard was a most amazing contortionist at Sadler's 
Wells, in Mr. Phelps' time, when Mr. Charles Fenton danced as 
harlequin, and Miss Caroline Parkes as columbine. At that 
period there flourished also a Deulin family perhaps they were 
really British Dowlings, who had Frenchified their name. The 
head of the house, indeed, as though claiming also to be both 
German and Italian, styled himself Herr Nicolo Deulin. 

The most original clown since Grimaldi was no doubt Richard 
Flexmore very famous thirty years ago who discovered for 
himself an entirely new method of representing the character of 
clown. Flexmore married a charming dancer, the daughter of 
Auriol, the happiest clown the Parisian Cirque has ever boasted. 
From this interesting union a phenomenal race of pantomimists 
might have been expected, but poor Richard died sine prole, I 
believe. Other pantomimic families might be enumerated, espe- 
cially a Ravel family, very popular during many years in the 
United States. Then we are brought to existing families or 
troupes the Lauris, the Martinettis, and other genuine and 
admirable pantomimists still cherishing the precious traditions 
of harlequinade, and counting amongst them skilled personators 
of harlequin and columbine, clown and pantaloon. The Vokeses 
and the Girards are families or combinations of a later organiza- 
tion or development They are grotesque singers and dancers, 
eccentric of posture and gesticulation, and highly accomplished 
and genial in their way which is not, however, the way of pan- 
tomime proper, as it was understood by the Grimaldi generations. 
There is not, I think, a Christmas clown or even a pantaloon 
among them. 

io THE THEATRE. [JAN. i, iS83. 

Ticket o 9 Leave. 



WHO'S getting married this morning some o' the big folk ? No ! 
Leastways not as you'd call such as no\v-a-days big folks go. 
It's only a common wedding old Bradley's daughter Eve 
Is a-saying "I will" in yonder, and the bridegroom's " Ticket o' Leave." 

You thought 'twas a big folk's wedding, because o' the crowd may be. 
Well, it's one as the whole o' the village has come to the church to see. 
You needn't say you're a stranger : if you wasn't you'd know their tale, 
For to find another as didn't you might search ten mile and fail. 

" Ticket o' Leave" did I call him ? I did, Sir, and all round here, 
" Ticket o' Leave" we've called him for as nigh as may be a year. 
For he came back here from a prison this is his native place, 
And that was the jibe as his neighbours flung in his haggard face. 

It's ten year ago since it happened that as brought all the shame, 
That as gave decent people the right to shrink at his name. 
He was right-hand man to old Bradley, was Ned that is, " Ticket o' Leave," 
He was more like a son to the farmer, and he loved his daughter Eve. 

Eve was the village beauty, with half the* lads at her feet, 

But she only gave 'em the chaff, Sir, it was Ned as got all the wheat. 

They were sweethearts trothed and plighted, for old Bradley was nothing 

He had kissed the girl when she told him, and promised to help them both. 

But Jack, his son, was his idol a racketty, scapegrace lad 
Though to speak e'er a word agen him was to drive the old chap mad. 
He worshipped the boy, God help him the dearest to him on earth 
The wife of his early manhood had died in giving him birth. 

To him Jack was just an angel, but over the village ale 

The gossips who knew his capers could tell a different tale. 

There were whispers of worse than folly : of drunken bouts and of debts, 

And of company Jack was keeping, into which it was bad to get. 

Ned heard it all at the alehouse, smoking his pipe one night, 
And he struck his fist on the table, and gave it them left and right. 
He said it was lies, and dared them to breathe a word 'gen the lad ; 
He feared it might reach the farmer, but Ned knew as the boy was bad. 

Old Bradley was weak and ailing, the doctor had whispered Ned 
That a sudden shock would kill him : that he held his life by a thread. 
So that made Ned more than anxious to keep the slanders back 
That were running rife in the village about the scapegrace Jack. 

JAN. r, 1883.] TICKET O 3 LEA VE. 1 1 

One night I shall ne'er forget it, for it came like a thunder clap 
The news came into the village as they'd found a pedlar chap 
Smothered in blood, and senseless, shot and robbed on the Green, 
And they brought Ned back here handcuffed, two constables between. 

At first we couldn't believe it as he could ha' been the man, 

But one of our chaps had caught him just as he turned and ran 

Had caught Ned there red-handed, with a gun and the pedlar's gold, 

And we went in a crowd to the station, where the rest of the tale was told. 

The facts against Ned were damning. When they got the pedlar round, 
His wound was probed, and a bullet that fitted Ned's gun was found. 
He'd been shot from behind a hedgerow, and had fallen and swooned away, 
And Ned must have searched his victim, and have robbed him as he lay. 

They kept it back from the farmer, who had taken at last to his bed. 
Eve came, red-eyed, and told him that she'd had a quarrel with Ned, 
And he'd gone away, had left them, and perhaps he wouldn't come back. 
Old Bradley said he was sorry then asked for his boy his Jack. 

And Jack, white-faced and trembling, he crept to the old man's side, 
And was scarcely away from the homestead till after the farmer died. 
On the night that death crossed the threshold, one last long lingering look 
At the face that was his dead darling's, the poor old farmer took. 

As the shadows of twilight deepened the long ago came back, 
And his weak voice faintly whispered, " Lean over, and kiss me, Jack ; 
" Let me take your kiss to Heaven, to the mother who died for you." 
And Eve sobbed out as she heard him, " Thank God, he never knew." 

In his lonely cell a felon heard of the old man's end. 

In a letter his faithful sweetheart had conquered her grief to send ; 

And the load of his pain was lightened as he thought of what might have 

Had Jack, and not he, been taken that night upon Parson's Green 1 

Five years went over the village, and then one Midsummer eve 
Came Ned back here as an outcast out on a ticket o' leave. 
And all of the people shunned him, the Bradleys had moved away,' 
For Jack had squandered the money in drink, and in vice, and play. 

Poor Eve was up at the Doctor's his housekeeper grave and staid ; 
There was something about her manner that made her old flames afraid. 
Not one of them went a-wooing they said that her heart was dead, 
That it died on the day the judges sentenced her sweetheart, Ned. 

" Ticket o' Leave" they called him after he came back here. 
God knows what he did for a living, he must have been starved pretty near 
But he clung to the village somehow got an odd job now and then, 
But whenever a farmer took him there was grumbling among the men. 

12 THE THEATRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

He was flouted like that a twelvemonth then suddenly came a tale 
That a man out of our village had been sick in the county gaol. 
Sick unto death, and dying, he had eased his mind of a sin, 
Hoping by that atonement some mercy above to win. 

We knew it all that Sunday for the Parson right out in church, 

He wiped away in a moment from Ned the felon smirch. 

He told us his noble story how following Jack that night 

He had seen him shoot at the pedlar, and rob him, and take to flight. 

He had seized the gun and the money from the rascal's trembling hand. 
Jack fled at the sound of footsteps, and the rest you can understand. 
The word that he might have spoken he kept to himself to save, 
For the sake of the dying father, the pitiful thief and knave. 

He knew that the blow would hasten the death of one who had done 
More for him than a father who had treated him as a son. 
And so he had suffered in silence, all through the weary years, 
The felon's shame and the prison, and the merciless taunts and jeers. 

Hark ! there's the organ pealing see how the crowd divides. 
Room for the best of fellows room for the Queen of Brides. 
Look at their happy faces three cheers for the faithful Eve, 
And three times three and another for Ned the "Ticket o' Leave." 

Notes on the Pantomimes. 


f T is the way of the world when a man succeeds in life and sud- 
- denly rushes past his companions in the inevitable race, to 
ascribe the result of his perseverance and energy to luck. Ac- 
cording to this accepted theory the young manager of Drury Lane 
Mr. Augustus Harris is the luckiest man who ever dipped into 
the inexhaustible purse of Fortunatus. I should rather be inclined 
to ascribe his good fortune to readiness and tact. Mr. Harris 
does not go to sleep. The world moves quickly, and he moves 
quickly with the world. Although he has been fortunate, he can 
pull off his coat and work if needs be, he looks after his own busi- 
ness and does not sit with his hands in his pockets, and he seems 
to be convinced that the public will support the manager who is 
most wide-awake and liberal. 

Now a Drury Lane pantomime is an English institution. We 
can no more do without it than roast beef, plum-pudding, and 


mince-pies. A Boxing Day without pantomime would be as 
empty as a Christmas Day without dinner. An ordinary, contented, 
easy-going Drury Lane manager might have said, " Well, the 
public must come and see my pantomime whether they like it or 
not, they will come in hundreds and thousands and book their 
seats in advance, whether I spend a great deal of money or 
whether I spend no money at all. My good old friend E. L. 
Blanchard understands his business, and a Drury Lane pantomime 
cannot be a failure." Mr. Harris seems to work on the opposite 
principle. First, he stops competition, and next he spends more 
money on his 1883 pantomime of " Sindbad the Sailor" than has 
ever been spent before. By an ingenious and amicable arrangement 
with the manager of Covent Garden, the young manager closed 
the doors of Covent Garden at Christmas, and so cleverly was the 
understanding worded that it would not even let in the Alhambra 
entertainment when this splendid theatre was unfortunately burned 
down. Had Mr. Harris only specified that there was to be no 
pantomime at Covent Garden this Christmas, the Alhambra com- 
pany would have been a formidable rival, but the substitution of 
some such words " or any entertainment of a similar character," 
gives the quietus to any plan for making a new Alhambra at Covent 
Garden, unless, indeed, the law or compromise wills it otherwise. 

I have had the opportunity of inspecting the stores of scenery 
and properties and the elaborate wardrobes already stocked 
for the Drury Lane pantomime next Boxing Day, and, 
from all I can see, I should say that the grand historical 
procession would be the most brilliant effect in stage archae- 
ology that London has ever seen. The procession is sup- 
posed to consist of the Kings and Queens of England, with their 
pages, knights, barons, standard-bearers, equerries, and notabilities 
of the Court, from the reign of William the Conqueror to Queen 
Victoria. All the monarchs and celebrated characters wear masks, 
modelled, designed and coloured by Mr. Labhart, whom I found 
deep in the study of shields copied from the Bayeux Tapestry. 
The ladies will be simply " made-up," after the Queens and cour- 
tiers of England, and, as an essay in costume, I don't suppose 
anything like it has ever been seen. Every learned authority has 
been ransacked, and accuracy has been considered of the first im- 
portance. Each of these dresses, elaborately prepared by Madame 
Auguste even those worn by the humblest extra lady or super- 
numerary is such as might be worn at any fancy ball in the 

14 THE THEATRE. QAN. i, 1883. 

kingdom. M. Pilotell, and that excellent antiquary, Mr. Chase- 
more, are responsible for these elaborate designs, which, when 
seen en masse helmets, glittering armour, and all will present a 
picture of remarkable beauty. The armour, which will constitute 
a special feature, comes from Kennedy, of Birmingham, the 
Alhambra armourers who adorned " Babil and Bijou"; and from 
Wilson, of London. 

A novelty will be introduced this year of scenery painted 
in Vienna by the firm of Brianski-Kartski, which will be found 
remarkably unconventional and effective, lending itself as it 
does to new and beautiful effects of light ; and in the 
absence of the veteran and accomplished scene-painter, Mr. 
Beverley, the companion of Mr. E. L. Blanchard in so many 
" Annuals," Mr. H. Emden will look after the English decorative 
work. We shall miss the pleasant face of Mr. John Cormack, 
the director of so many Drury Lane ballets, perched up on 
his wooden stool at the prompt-wing ; but the fame of Mr. 
John D'Auban is very great, and he will have the task of in- 
structing and perfecting the coryphees, led to the attack by 
Madame Zanfretti, the premiere danseuse. 

But children who go to a pantomime like nothing better than 
to see children act. Indeed, this is one of Mr. Blanchard's 
pantomime hobbies, and the children trained by Madame Katie 
Lanner made such a success last year that, of course, they will be 
on the stage again. In addition to these, there will be an army 
of boys and girls, fitted out and accoutred in the most wonder- 
ful little uniforms ever devised. They represent the army of 
Egypt under Sir Garnet Wolseley, in fighting trim, complete 
and accurate to every haversack and button. The children in 
the audience will be wild with delight when they see them, 
and demand, I should say, their cast-off uniforms after Christmas 
for the nursery. I next come to the company proper, now 
hard at work studying and rehearsing our good old friend Mr. 
Blanchard's musical lines and lyrics. Several favourites will 
instantly step upon the scene. Miss Nelly Power, the Sindbad of 
the old story, famed for her vivacity and expressive ballad 
singing ; Mr. Arthur Roberts and Mr. Harry Nicholls, two 
excellent comedians, not forgetting, of course, Mr. Fawn, the 
alter ego of Mr. Roberts ; Mr. Herbert Campbell, a great favourite 
and excellent singer ; Mr. J. D'Auban, and that genius in panto- 
mime, Mr. C. Lauri, junior, Mr. F. Storey, Mr. J. Ridley, and 


many more. As to the clown, who should he be but Harry 
Payne, facile princeps in his art, the last of a grand old panto- 
mimic family. Contrasted with pure pantomime and burlesque 
there will be Miss Annie Rose to represent taste, refinement, and 
fancy, as a very charming Zaide, and all will welcome that clever 
and versatile Emma D'Auban, who is vivacity itself. The Mario 
Sisters, the Robina Sisters, Luna and Stella, Vesta Tilly, and many 
more, have earned their popularity elsewhere, and may be expected 
with confidence to make this vast machinery of fun and fancy to 
move easily. That thoroughly capable and excellent musician 
Mr. Oscar Barrett will be once more in the orchestra, and the 
comforts of the audience will be attended to by Mr. Augustus A. 
Moore, the right-hand man of Mr. Harris. Do not let any one 
imagine that the duties of a Drury Lane manager are a sinecure at 
Christmas-time. Mr. Harris has inherited the art of stage manage- 
ment from his father, who made the Covent Garden operatic stage 
what it was some years ago, and the whole of this enormous re- 
sponsibility of direction he takes on his shoulders, scarcely leaving 
the theatre for night or day before the pantomime is produced, 
and occupying himself with the superintendence of every detail. 
But it is the Procession of Kings and Queens that will be the 
talk of all London in a few days' time, and will astonish those 
who are accustomed to associate these entertainments with con- 
ventional glitter. And still a word to the children ! There will 
be some big heads ! No pantomime is worth the name 
without big heads ! Look out for the Barons in the Court of 
King John. I have seen them in Mr. Labhart's studio. And 
above all, you children of a larger growth, look up your English 
history. Know for certain and beyond dispute the order in 
which the kings and queens come, or the little ones will laugh 
you out of the stalls and boxes. Drury Lane this year will 
combine education with amusement. 

Now that the Alhambra Theatre is burnt down, and pending 
the opening of the Pandora Theatre, Leicester Square, the lovers 
of spectacular display may seek amusement at Her Majesty's 
Theatre, which opens on December 30, with "The Yellow 
Dwarf," a burlesque extravaganza, written by Messrs. Robert 
Reece and Alfred Thompson. The scenery has been prepared 
by Messrs. Walter Hann, W. L. Telbin, and Walter Spong, the 
principal scenes being allotted as follows : The Palace of Fans 
(Spong), the Orange Grove (Hann), the Copper Castle (Telbin), 

16 THE THEATRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

and the Gold Mines, also by Mr. Telbin. There are two novel 
and attractive ballets, the " Ballet of Fans," and the "Furies' Revel." 
Mdlle. Bella is the premiere danseuse, and she will be assisted by 
Mdlle. Gitberte and Mdlle. Rosa and her troupe. The company 
includes Misses Emma Chambers, Marie Lindon, and Olga 
Marini, and Messrs. Alfred Vance, E. L. Sothern, and the 
Huline Brothers. Then there are also ^Enea, the flying fairy, 
Lockhart's twin elephants, and a host of pretty girls in a ballet of 
more than a hundred. M. Haussens, of Moscow, is the ballet 
master, the ballet music has been composed by the chef 
d'orchestre, Signor Mora, and the entire production will be brought 
out under the personal superintendence of Mr. Alfred Thompson, 
the managing director of the Pandora Theatre. 

At the Avenue Theatre a children's pantomime on the subject 
of " Dick Whittington and his Cat " will be produced on Christ- 
mas Eve. It will be acted entirely by children, some eighty in 
number. The Alcazar Theatre (the old Connaught), in Holborn, 
opens on Boxing Night with Mr. Frank Hall's version of 
" Cinderella." Over three hundred artistes including Mr. Shiel 
Barry, Mr. Arthur Goodrich, and Miss Rozie Lowe, are engaged. 
The theatre has been considerably improved, and re-decorated and 
furnished. A new act-drop has been prepared, and the scenery 
painted by Messrs. T. W. Grieve, Sidney Baker, and T. Parry. 

Messrs. George Conquest and Henry Spry have furnished the 
book of the Surrey pantomime of " Puss in Boots," which treats of 
the war between the rat and cat kingdoms. The scenery and dresses 
are of a most elaborate description, and the pantomime will be 
supported by Mr. George Conquest, junr., as the Giant, and by 
Messrs. Victor Stevens, C. Cruikshanks, and Harry Monkhouse, 
Miss Sara Beryl, the Albert's and Edmund's troupe, the Brothers 
Belmont, the Brothers Clayton, and others. Mr. George Conquest 
superintends the entire production. 

Mr. Wilson Barrett's forthcoming pantomime for the Grand 
Theatre, Leeds, is an entirely new version of the story of 
" Robinson Crusoe," the libretto being, as usual, written by Mr. J. 
Wilton Jones. The preparations have been going on for several 
months past, and various eminent scenic artists have been busily 
engaged, including Mr. Walter Hann, Mr. Bruce Smith, Mr. 
Stafford Hall, Mr. Louis Edouarde, and Mr. Johnson. The 
scenic and mechanical effects are said to be highly novel and 
ingenious. From the depths below the sea, the scene changes to 


a beautiful view of the Port of Hull, where the hero's adventures 
commence. One mechanical change rapidly follows another, 
until we find ourselves on the full-set deck of Crusoe's vessel. 
The storm rises, the ship sinks beneath the waves, and Crusoe is 
seen on the raft riding safely on the calm sea in the tropical 
moonlight, and steering for the distant island. The other cha- 
racters are rescued in various ways, and, when upon the island 
and among the savages, their adventures follow each other in fast 
and furious fashion. Crusoe's hut is besieged by the cannibals, 
the walls are blown down, and Crusoe and his party escape in 
canoes, being, however, vigorously pursued by the cannibal king 
and his myrmidons. The scene of " The Golden Island," by Mr. 
Stafford Hall, is spoken of as a beautiful stage picture ; and in 
this scene the procession, with its enormous and striking " proper- 
ties," its crowds of barbaric warriors and amazons, and its glow of 
colour, will no doubt be the talk of all Yorkshire. The remaining 
scenes show how the villany of Will Atkins is defeated ; how 
Crusoe is rescued from the power of his savage foes by the 
military might of Great Britain ; how the cannibal king is 
brought to England (a la Cetewayo) ; and how the nuptials of 
Crusoe and his sweetheart Polly are celebrated in a locality which 
all Yorkshiremen will recognize. With merry song and dance 
and comic incident the story runs along gaily to the end, when 
Mr. Louis Edouarde's magnificent transformation scene founded 
on the legend of " Paradise and the Peri" gives the crowning 
touch to Mr. Barrett's fifth annual at the Grand Theatre and 
his eighth in Leeds. The dresses throughout have been designed 
by M. Wilhelm. The company is an exceptionally strong one. 
Miss Fannie Leslie, who made such a hit as Crusoe at Drury Lane 
last year, has been specially engaged to play the title role, and the 
other performers include Mr. H. D. Burton, Mr. H. C. Arnold, 
Chirgwin, the " White- Eyed Kaffir," the Brothers Griffiths, the 
entire Lupino family of pantomimists, Miss Kissie Wood, Miss 
Grace Whiteford, and numerous other performers of more or less 
note. Mr. Wilson Barrett's liberality in catering for his patrons 
at the Grand increases year by year, and this time his efforts bid 
fair to eclipse all that have gone before. 

" Bluebeard " is the title of Mr. Edward Saker's fifteenth 
Christmas pantomime at the Liverpool Alexandra Theatre. It 
has been expressly written for Mr. Saker by Mr. T. F. Doyle, who 


1 8 THE THEATRE. [JAX. i, 1883. 

also plays a principal part in the pantomime. It will be brought 
out on a grander scale than has hitherto been attempted in 
Liverpool. The following special engagements have been made : 
Misses Nellie Bouverie, Kate Lovell, Polly Marsh, F. Marriott, 
Alice Dodds, Milnes, Maude Stanley, and Milburn ; Messrs. J. H. 
Milburn, George Lester, C. E. Stevens, C. Danby, James Danvers, 
Messrs. Vern and Volt, and the Leopold Brothers. Mr. John 
Brunton has painted the magnificent scenery, the principal scenes 
being the Dominions of Discord, and the Market Place of 
Bagdad. The ballet scene represents beautiful warm flowers, 
with an instantaneous change to a snow scene. The Blue 
Chamber is treated in a novel manner, and there is a snow- 
drift with animated trees. The big procession is very sump- 
tuous, and there are some capital military scenes founded on 
episodes in the recent Egyptian war, together with a lovely 
transformation scene. Mr. John Ross once more composes 
and arranges the music, and Mr. Saker, assisted by Mr. G. W. 
Harris, again personally superintends the entire thing. 

The pantomime at the Theatre Royal Edinburgh, is " Robinson 
Crusoe," the book being written by the author of last year's 
successful production, " Dick Whittington." The company 
taking part in it is a very strong one ; including among its 
members, Miss Carrie Lee Stoyle, Miss Susie Montague, 
Miss Helene de Valence, Miss Marion Aubrey, Mr. Sidney 
Harcourt, who made a great hit in last year's pantomime, Mr. 
William Randall, Mr. Sidney Stevens, Mr. Herbert Gresham, and 
Messrs. Lennard and Wilmore. The scenery is by Mr. Danger- 
field, and the entire production is under the careful personal at- 
tention of Mr. and Mrs. Howard, whose high reputation as 
producers of pantomime it bids fair to enhance. 

In Glasgow they are already hard at work with the pantomimes, 
which were brought out there on December 9. Mr. T. W. 
Charles, the lessee of the Grand Theatre in that city, has designed 
his own pantomime, which is on the subject of " Robinson 
Crusoe." The title role is played by Miss Emily Spiller, and 
Misses Laura Clement, Leila Fortescque, and Kate Paradise, and 
Messrs. Fred. W. Newham, Gerard Coventry, J. B. Gordon, and 
John S. Chamberlain are also in the cast. 

Mr. H. Cecil Beryl's pantomime at the Princess's, Glasgow, is 
" Little Red Riding Hood." Miss Katie Neville cleverly plays 
Red Riding Hood, Miss Katie Ryan is a spirited Boy Blue, Miss 


Nellie Burdette, a charming Miss Muffit, Miss Marion Huntley 
is Jack Horner, and Miss Florence Harrington acts Jill Warner. 
Amongst the gentlemen the principal honours have been carried 
off by Mr. Edward S. Gofton as the Wolf, Mr. H. G. Clifford as 
the Baron, and Mr. Ramsey Danvers as Granny. 

At the New Theatre Royal, Bristol, " Dick Whittington and his 
Cat " is to be the Christmas production. The magnificent 
scenery has been painted by Messrs. E. Brunton, M. Barraud, and 
Arthur Henderson. The company is particularly strong, and 
includes Miss Julia W r arden, Miss Amy Grundy, Miss Rita 
Presano, the Sisters Taylor, and Miss Fanny Brown ; Mr. George 
Thorne, Mr. E. M. Robson, Mr. H. Lewens, Mr. Alexander 
Knight, Messrs. Henderson and Stanley, and Harry Paulo. Mr. 
C. H. Stephenson, who supplies the book of the pantomime, is 
specially engaged to produce it. In order to render the pantomime 
complete, a peal of church bells has been specially manufactured 
for the theatre at a cost of 450. Messrs. Chute have done every- 
thing to ensure success for their pantomime, and they deserve it. 

Mr. R. Melville's pantomime at the old Royal, Bristol, is 
written by Mr. James Horner, and is entitled "Red Riding Hood 
and the three Jacks." Mr. Melville's company is a strong one, 
and includes Misses Emily Randall, Alice Brindsley, Blanche 
Symmonds, Florence Austin, Messrs. Fred. Alberts, and others. 

Mr. Fred. Neebe's forthcoming Christmas annual will be the 
ever-popular " Robinson Crusoe," written expressly by Mr. J. 
Wilton Jones, of Leeds, for Exeter, and to suit the artistes engaged. 
The company will include Messrs. J. W. Bradbury, Fred. Solomon, 
Charles Dodsworth, E. J. Lonnen, John L. Avondale, &c.; 
Mesdames Rosie St. George, Laura Grey, Nina Engel, Maud 
Stoneham, Lizzie Aubrey, Athena Thompson, Blanch Hibbert, &c. 
At Exeter the pantomime will run five weeks, after which it will 
be taken to Devonport for twelve nights, and finally to Bath for 
three weeks, making a continued run of ten weeks in all. At 
the New Theatre, Devonport,, " Manteaux Noirs" will be pro- 
duced on December 23 for twelve nights ; and at Bath, Gilbert and 
Sullivan's " lolanthe " will be played for the first time in the pro. 
vinces on Boxing Night, December 26. There it will run three 
weeks, and it will then be transferred to Devonport and Exeter. In 
each of these towns Mr. Neebe is the lessee of the theatre. 

Captain Bainbridge's pantomime at the Manchester Theatre 

C 2 

20 THE THEATRE. [JAN. i, 1883- 

Royal has been written by Mr. J. F. McArdle, and is entitled 
'* Sinbad the Sailor." Sinbad will be played by Miss Jenny Hill. 
Miss Alice Burville is the Zorilda, Mr. Julian Cross is Shipwreckeros, 
and the cast also includes Mr. George Walton, Mr. R. H. Cummings. 
Mr. J. L. Shine, and Mr. John Walton. The beautiful scenery 
has been painted by Mr. H. P. Hall, and the transformation shows 
the pantomime hero extending a welcome to our soldiers and our 
Queen. At the Prince's Theatre in the same city, the boards will be 
occupied at Christmas with Mr. Recce's burlesque of "Robin Hood.' J 
" Little Red Riding Hood " is the title of Mrs. Nye Chart's 
holiday annual for 1882-3, to be produced at the Brighton Theatre 
on the 23rd, the libretto by Mr. Frank W. Green. The company 
in the opening includes Miss 'Lizzie Coote, Miss Carry Coote, 
Miss Nelly Vere, Misses Nellie Coombes, Tiny Hastings, Millie 
Howard, Amy Forrest, Frances Lyndon, Rose Bertram, the Eden 
and Sims ballet troupe, the Wood and Rosie Families, Henry 
and Charles Raynor, Mr. H. Cooper Cliffe, Miss Hannah Andrews, 
Queen Mab ; Mr. Charles Ottley, Mr. W. Sweetman, Mr. F. Bruce, 
Mr. William Simpson, clown ; pantaloon, W. English ; columbine, 
Miss Wilson ; harlequin, Frank Sims. The chief effect will be 
the children's library, in which a whole posse of juveniles will 

ur flfeusical^Boy* 


An Entirely Original Fairy Opera, in Two Acts, written by W. S. GILBERT, composed by 

First Produced at the Savoy Theatre, London, on Saturday evening, November 25th, 1882. 

The Lord Chancellor MR. GEORGE GROSSMITH. 
Earl of Mountararat MR. RUTLAND B 


Earl Tolloler ... MR. DURWARD LELY. 
Private Willis ... MR. MANNERS. 

Strephon MR. R. TEMPLE. 

Queen of the Fairies Miss ALICE BARNETT. 

lolanthe Miss JESSIE BOND. 

Celia Miss FORTESCUE. 


Fleta Miss SYBIL GREY. 


MR. W. S. GILBERT, as the founder of a novel and extremely 
taking variety of humorousness, has a large following of in- 
telligent laughter lovers who await each successive production of his 
fancy with yearning impatience, and receive it, when it appears, with 
demonstrative gratitude. As a comic verse-writer and librettist, he 
is also in high favour with the upper and middle classes of 
English society, who recognize in him the representative head par 


excellence of a cynical and scoffing period their own. In short, 
he is the fashion, and his claims to that enviable distinction some 
of them, at least are indisputable. This being so, any " namer 
of winners " desirous to enhance his fame for accurate foresight, 
might have confidently prophesied, weeks before the premiere of 
"lolanthe " at the Savoy, that the new " fairy opera " would turn 
out a success, as it unquestionably did. To Dr. Arthur Sullivan's 
share in ensuring the certainty of this result I shall presently refer 
more particularly. He has as much to do with it as Mr. Gilbert, 
but in a different way. The combination is a peculiarly happy 
one, and " draws " the public irresistibly. To thousands, doubt- 
less, the chief attraction of " lolanthe " will be a libretto by the 
Poet of Paradoxes and Incongruities ; to other thousands the 
promise of enjoyment will lie in the music of a composer whose 
popularity is based upon talent and culture of a very high order. 
But, in this felicitous partnership, it is Mr. Gilbert, after all, who is 
the mirth-mover. He has accustomed us to regard him as a 
fertile imaginer of inimitable absurdities, and to expect that he will 
breathe his special vein of fun more and more copiously every time he 
puts forward a new work. This libretti, moreover, from " Pinafore" 
to " Patience," have fully justified that view and expectation. 

When, therefore, a first-night's audience, prepared to laugh itself 
sore, and in great measure consisting of Mr. Gilbert's avowed 
admirers, finds that gentleman exhibiting a tendency to import 
pathos and politics into a " book " like that of " lolanthe," it may 
be excused for expressing disappointment as well as surprise the 
more so because his pathos smacks of anger, a passion altogether 
out of place in a " fairy opera," and his politics are bitterly 
aggressive. Anything like a moral, pointedly recommended to 
public attention in connection with ingenious buffoonery and put 
into the mouth of such a character as Mr. Gilbert's hero a divert- 
ing monstrosity, half fairy, half mortal, whose only raison d'etre is 
the wealth of comic contrasts suggested by his dual nature is 
calculated to exercise a depressing effect upon people who went to 
laugh, not to cry ; to be tickled into complacency, not roused to 
indignation. The libretto of " lolanthe " has been utilized by its 
author as the vehicle for conveying to society at large a feeling 
protest on behalf of the indigent, and a scathing satire upon the 
hereditary moiety of our Legislature. Advocacy and denunciation 
of this sort are all very well in melodrama, where telling " points " 

22 THE THE A TRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

may always be made with the unmerited wrongs of the poor and 
the reprehensible uselessness of the aristocracy. But they jar upon 
the ear and taste alike when brought to bear upon us through the 
medium of a song sung by half a fairy in a professedly comic opera. 
Strephon's Invocation to Parliament, " Fold your flapping wings/' 
might have been written by Mr. G. R. Sims in his most democratic 
mood. Emanating from Mr. Gilbert, it amazes and even startles 
one, like the fall of a red-hot thunderbolt from a smiling summer 

There is certainly nothing tragical or even dull about the 
unfavourable view of Peers, as far as their brain-power is con- 
cerned, that pervades the " lolanthe " libretto from beginning to 
end. But, no less certainly, it is open to the reproach of injustice. 
No man living knows better than Mr. Gilbert that, in proportion 
to the total male adult population of this country, there are as 
many pompous asses out of the Peerage as in it. Is it, then, quite 
fair on his part to assign the monopoly of imbecility to the House 
of Lords ? He himself hardly thinks so, to judge by a keen 
innuendo he launches at the Lower House early in his second act. 
A fay-inspired Legislature is about to pass a measure throwing 
open the Peerage to competitive examination. Commenting upon 
this innovation, one of Mr. Gilbert's noblemen is made to say, 
" With a House of Peers composed exclusively of people of 
intellect, what's to become of the House of Commons ? " 

As I yield to no one in my admiration of Mr. Gilbert's genius, 
it is a source of real regret to me to observe in his latest work 
symptoms of a fatigue that may have occurred to him from over- 
riding his humorous hobby of inward promptings in the 
direction of sentimentability, and of an alarming disposition to 
polemicize. Having given vent to this grumble, much against the 
grain, I will now address myself to the more agreeable exercise of 
pointing out a few of " lolanthe's " many excellences. 

In the first place the plot is a capital one of the Bab Ballad 
class of story, of course, and very good of its sort. Phyllis, the 
heroine, is an Arcadian shepherdess and presumably an orphan, 
for the Lord Chancellor is her guardian. Strephon, the hero, 
owes his being to a romantic marriage between a fairy and a 
Chancery barrister who, when introduced to the audience, has 
recently achieved the Woolsack. Strephon's physical and mental 
machinery, owing to the mixed character of his parentage, is con- 

JAN. i, 1883-] OUR MUSICAL-BOX. 23 

structed upon the " duplex action " system. His body is partly 
immortal and partly perishable his soul is at odds within itself 
upon political and other questions of importance. Strange to say, 
his affections are undivided, and belong in their entirety to Phyllis, 
as do hers to him. The union of these two pastoral lovers is pro- 
hibited by the Lord Chancellor (who is profoundly unconscious of 
the fact that Strephon is his son, born in lawful wedlock), chiefly 
because that legal dignitary wants to marry Phyllis himself. Her 
attractions, indeed, are so overpowering that they have captivated 
the hearts of all the Peers of the Realm, who, as well as their 
learned speaker, are suitors for her hand. 

Through his fairy-mother, however, Strephon secures the 
patronage of her supernatural relatives, who are prepared at a 
moment's notice to turn all human institutions inside out in the 
matrimonial interests of their kinsman and protege. They get 
him into the House of Commons for a fairy-borough, and practise 
spells upon the other members, with the effect of getting all his 
revolutionary measures passed. Having virtually abolished the 
Peers, they fall in love with them and turn them into fairies, to 
avoid future complications of the Strephon order. Wings sprout 
from their Lordships' shoulders. Phyllis, Strephon, and Private 
Willis, a gigantic Guardsman, in whom the Fairy Queen finds a 
conjugal match for her own lofty stature and massive proportions, 
are also, by a wave of Her Majesty's spear, endowed with those 
volatile appendages. And the opera concludes with a dance and 
chorus, professedly preparatory for a flight "sky-high, sky-high," 
where noble Lords are to " exchange House of Peers for House 
of Peris." It would not surprise me to learn that this jeu de 
mots suggested the fundamental paradox upon which the plot of 
" lolanthe " has been most ingeniously built up. 

The fairies and their stupendous Queen (Miss Alice Barnett), at 
the opening of the piece, recommend themselves to us by good 
looks and singing, pretty dresses, graceful gestures, and excellent 
delivery of the amusing incongruities with which their speaking 
parts are crowded. At this time, lolanthe is a fairy in disgrace. 
For having surreptitiously married a mortal she is and has been, 
for a quarter of a century past standing on her head at the 
bottom of a stream. Her sister-fays, finding Fairy-land a trifle 
dull without her, petition the Queen to pardon her, which that 
vast potentate readily does, moved to pity by remembrance of the 

24 THE THEATRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

services formerly rendered to her by lolanthe, as her instructress 
in gymnastics. In teaching so abnormally robust a person as Her 
Majesty to curl herself up inside a buttercup lolanthe has indis- 
putably displayed talents that should not be allowed to remain in 
abeyance under water. She is summoned to the surface of her 
aqueous penitentiary, fully forgiven and officially reinstated in her 
old rank at the Fairy Court. As soon as she has informed her 
sisters that she has a hybrid son, twenty-four years of age, who 
keeps sheep, and is engaged to a Ward in Chancery, Strephon 
(Mr. R. Temple) enters in the approved pastoral garb of Arcady, 
capering hilariously and playing upon a flageolet. The fairies 
take him up enthusiastically, and then take themselves off. Phyllis 
(Miss Leonora Braham) joins him, and the lovers resolve upon a 
clandestine marriage that very day. 

Now enters, preceded by the Grenadier Guards' band in full play, 
a procession of the most gorgeous beings that ever trod the boards 
of the Savoy or any other theatre. The British Peer, for the first 
time in operatic annals, is exhibited to the general public in all 
his glory. Probably Solomon himself was not arrayed like one of 
these. It must have been a Collar-day at Court, and their Lord- 
ships must have strolled down to Arcadia direct from the Pre- 
sence ; for they are in the fullest conceivable gala fig, wearing 
their coronets, dress-swords, and satin "smalls," as well as the 
mantles, collars, stars and badges of English, Scottish, Irish, and 
Colonial Orders of Chivalry. Anybody suffering from curiosity, 
with respect to honorific insignia, can gratify his yearnings at the 
Savoy. There will he see Knights of the Garter, Bath and 
Thistle, of St. Patrick, SS. Michael and George, and the Star of 
India. Dark and light blue, crimson, pale green and rich purple 
mantles, embroidered with quaint devices and mottoes ermine, 
velvet, pearls, strawberry leaves, enamel and glittering metal all 
these and many other splendid emblematic gauds will meet his 
eye. The get-up of the Savoy Peers is correct to a ribbon end ; 
and, taken as a body, they are much livelier than their West- 
minster prototypes. Singing a rollicking chorus, the refrain of 
which is " Tantantara ! Tzing ! Boom !" they march round the 
stage to the bray of trumpets and the roll of drums. For the 
most part, their faces are admirably " made up " to the " elderly 
swell " type, happily crossed (chiefly in expression) with the com- 
mon councilman, churchwarden, and vestryman varieties. Then 

JAN. i, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL-BOX. 25 

come the Lord Chancellor (Mr. G. Grossmith), followed by a train- 
bearer, who is a joy for ever. The House, every member of which 
is over head and ears in love with Phyllis, has met in extraor- 
dinary session to discuss its position towards that fascinating young 
person, who appears before it in obedience to her legal guardian's 
mandate, conveyed to her by the Earl of Mountararat (Mr. R. 
Barrington), whose " make-up " is a singularly accurate replica 
of George the Fourth's well-known " Coronation " portrait. This 
nobleman and Irish peer, Lord Tolloler (Mr. D. Lely), are, by 
reason of their relative youthfulness nearly all the other patri- 
cians are past their prime the most eligible of all the titled 
candidates for Phyllis's hand ; and they plead their cause, as 
well as that of their order, in Mr. Gilbert's happiest upside- 
down manner. " Spurn not the nobly born with love affected," 
urges Lord Tolloler in a fine gentlemanly brogue, " nor treat 
with virtuous scorn the well-connected. High rank involves 
no shame we boast an equal claim with him of humble name, 
to be respected !" But Phyllis is loyal to her shepherd until 
jealousy is aroused in her breast by the following subtle 
contrivance. Eternal youth is lolanthe's that is to say, she 
waxed older in appearance from her birth to her seventeenth 
year, but not afterwards. Perhaps early marriage stopped her 
growth. Anyhow, she looks (at forty-three) much younger than 
her son, a stout bumpkin of four-and-twenty. Mother and child 
are, however, demonstratively fond of one another ; and their 
mutual caresses, witnessed by Phyllis, seem to her to admit but of 
one interpretation. She breaks with Strephon despite the inter- 
vention of the fairies, who bear witness to the real character of his 
relations with lolanthe, and, highly irritated at the incredulity with 
which their assurances are received by the Peers, threaten to 
abolish their order and substitute for it a Peerage based upon 
merit instead of birth. The finale in which this " situation " is 
developed will rank (until surpassed by its authors) as the most 
vigorous, effective and complete of Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan's 
joint compositions. It is positively crammed full of good things, 
both in words and music. An ensemble, with the patter burthen 
" Taradiddle, taradiddle, tol tol lay !" positively sparkles with 
literary and musical humour, and so, indeed, does another, in 
galop time (" Young Strephon is the King of Love"), to which, after 
a unanimous recall and to thunders of applause, the curtain meets 

26 THE THEA TRE. QAN. i, 1883. 

(it does not " come down " at the Savoy) as Phyllis swoons into 
the arms of Tolloler and Mountararat 

A magnificent Grenadier Guardsman (Mr. Manners), who is 
" doing sentry-go" by moonlight in Palace Yard, opens the second 
act with an admirable song, his sedate, deliberate, and tuneful 
delivery of which is irresistibly taking. Tripping fairies and 
strutting Peers then indulge in some neat epigrammatical wrang- 
ling on the subject of Parliamentary Reform. In a pseudo- 
patriotic lay, Lord Mountararat sets forth the splendid services 
rendered to Britain by the Upper House, when absolutely inert. 
By this time the fairies are irrevocably enamoured of their Lord- 
ships, and betray their feelings in a duet and chorus (" In vain to 
us you plead"), which I venture to designate as the gem of the 
opera. Music and words alike are surpassingly sympathetic and 
charming. The Fairy Queen, too, is soul-smitten by the thews 
and sinews of Private Willis, but hopes to quench the rising flame 
of her " great love" by the aid of Captain Shaw's brigade. Eyre 
Shaw, C.B., is one of the most popular men in London society, 
and deservedly so. At the premiere of " lolanthe" the boxes, 
stalls, and circles were chiefly occupied by his friends and 
acquaintances, whose outburst of hilarity upon hearing Miss 
Barnett describe him as a "type of true love kept under," was a 
memorable incident of the first night. 

The rest of the second act may be summed up briefly the 
more so because, as I have been informed, it has been judiciously 
pruned of its more tiresome and objectionable superfluities. That 
the patter-song assigned to George Grossmith is too long for 
singer and public alike, its author frankly confesses in its last line ; 
and I cordially agree with him. Fortunately, it is closely followed 
by one of the brightest numbers in the whole opera, a trio with a 
dancing refrain (" If you go in"), sung by the Lord Chancellor, 
Mountararat, and Tolloler. A bat-like pas, executed by Grossmith 
at the close of the third verse, is excruciatingly funny. lolanthe's 
appeal to her husband on behalf of Strephon an air previously 
utilized by Dr. Sullivan as the leading motive of his overture is 
genuinely touching ; perhaps too much so, as it causes the Chan- 
cellor to shed tears. The public does not expect to see George 
Grossmith earnestly simulate sorrow ; nor is it fair to him that he 
should be required to portray emotion of that class instead of 
caricaturing it. This pathetic episode, in itself musically and 

JAN. i, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL-BOX. 

poetically beautiful, though a decided violation of " the unities," 
brings about the Chancellor's discovery that his fairy-wife is living, 
as well as a grown-up son, the object of his ward's affections. Of 
course everybody is made happy. Fairies mate with Peers, their 
Queen proposes to Private Willis, and is accepted by him in a 
self-sacrificing spirit, whereupon he develops a dainty pair of 
scarlet wings (the Chancellor's are snow-white, and contrast very 
comically with the jet-black of his levee dress), and the opera 
concludes as gaily as may be with a brisk dancing-chorus. 

I do not hesitate to say that the music of " lolanthe " is Dr. Sulli- 
van's ckef-d'ceuvre. The quality throughout is more even, and 
maintained at a higher standard, than in any of his earlier works, 
each one of which has successively exhibited a marked advance 
upon its precursor. In fitting notes to words so exactly what 
the " book" and its setting appears to be one and indivisible, our 
gifted countryman is without a rival in Europe, now that Offen- 
bach is no more. His vein of melody seems inexhaustible, and 
in constructive skill he can hold his own with any contemporary 
composer. Increase of years has brought him augmented 
geniality of humour and grace of expression. His musical quips 
and cranks are every whit as effective as Mr. Gilbert's literary 
jests ; and to be instrumentally funny, without lapsing into 
vulgarity, is one of the most difficult feats in composition. 
" lolanthe" has manifestly been a labour of love. From begin- 
ning to end it does not contain one ugly or even wearisome 
musical number. The overture epitomizes the opera very agree- 
ably, and is orchestrated with remarkable ability. All the fairy 
music is charming. Wagnerian extravagances are here and there 
lightly, not irreverently, caricatured. The parody of " Die alte 
Weise" (" Tristan und Isolde," act iii.), played whilst lolanthe is 
rising from her watery prison, struck me as being uncommonly clever, 
and so did the Rhine daughter and Walkiire reminders in the last 
scene. As a matter of fact, I liked Sullivan's setting of " Aiaiah ! 
Laloiah! and Willahalah!" better than Wagner's " Wagalaweia" 
and " Hoyotoho !" Some of the concerted music notably the 
finale (with double chorus) to the first act and the quartette in the 
second act is quite above ordinary praise. The same may, without 
the least exaggeration, be said of the orchestral accompaniments 
to the patter-song. As a work, " lolanthe" is of greater musical 
importance than " Patience." Its tunes, however, are fewer in 

28 THE THE A TRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

number, and perhaps a thought less catching in character than those 
of " Bunthorne's Bride ;" but in every respect it sustains Dr. Sulli- 
van's reputation as the most spontaneous, fertile, and scholarly 
composer of comic opera this country has ever produced. 

The performance on the first night was uniformly meritorious. 
The Savoy " eleven" is a good one, and its members never miss a 
chance of backing one another up. It has been decidedly 
strengthened by its latest recruit, Mr. Manners, whose impersona- 
tion of the small but effective part of Private Willis is simply 
unexceptionable. Miss Braham looks, sings, and acts as charm- 
ingly in the part of Phyllis as she did in that of Patience. Under 
a mask of owlish sagacity, George Grossmith, as the Lord Chan- 
cellor, conceals boundless amative susceptibilities and a quaint 
official conscientiousness that are extremely diverting. The part 
exactly suits him, and, by turns stonily grave and wildly frisky, he 
plays it to perfection. Miss Barnett's Fairy Queen is the most 
startling anachronism with which that talented lady has hitherto 
identified her stately person and quick intelligence. Miss Bond, as 
lolanthe, is also a new variety of fairy intensely womanly, and 
therefore sympathetic. The three sister-fays (Misses Fortescue, 
Gwynne, and Grey) deserve unqualified praise for their excellent 
delivery of words and music, and are delightful to look at. In 
Messrs. Barrington and Lely the British Peerage finds two suffi- 
ciently agreeable representatives ; and Mr. Temple's Strephon is 
a very respectable theatrical shepherd, inclined to stoutness, but 
active on his feet, and, from a musical point of view, a decided 
attraction. The choruses could scarcely have been better sung, 
or the orchestral accompaniments better played, than when I 
heard them at the premiere, under Arthur Sullivan's leading. 
There are only two sets one for each act but each, in its 
way, is a masterpiece of painting and decoration. A small 
fortune has been spent upon the dresses. Self-lighting fairies, 
with electricity stored somewhere about the small of their 
backs, constitute the last thing in Savoy innovations. They 
are dazzling, and, I should think,, somewhat costly beings also 
perhaps, a little trying to the most artistic make-up. But they 
certainly constitute a picturesque feature in the rich tableau of 
colour and light with which the new fairy-opera very brilliantly 
and appropriately concludes. WM. BEATTY-KlNGSTON. 

JAN. i, 1883.] BESIDE THE SEA. 29 

Beside the Sea. 

"RESIDE the sea I saw her weep, 

-L) She took my hand beside the shore, 

" Love's ways," she said, " are sore and steep, 

Oh dear one, do not love me more !" 
What can be sweeter now than rest, 

To dream unto eternity, 
Nought can be better this is best, 

Beside the Sea ! 

The wind blows seaward to the storm, 

The sea rolls backward to the wreck, 
The waves engulf the lifeless form, 

And hush the horror of the deck. 
All that is beautiful must die, 

The faultless flow'r, the tender tree, 
Yet we stand loving, you and I, 

Beside the Sea ! 

Oh ! love me then, no more, no more ; 

No kiss than this can sweeter taste, 
Here standing by the silent shore, 

Your arm encircled round my waist. 
There must be change, there must be death, 

To all who pray to God above, 
To all who love, yes, this must be 

Now let us pause j let's hold our breath, 
Now let us only live and love 

Beside the Sea ! 

December. 1882. C. S. 

30 THE THE A TRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

Mrs. Bernard-Beere. 

MRS. BERNARD-BEERE, whose photograph appears in 
this number of THE THEATRE, is the daughter of Mr. 
Wilby Whitehead, a renowned Norfolk artist, and a niece of Mr. 
George Wingrove Cooke, barrister-at-law, a gentleman long 
connected with the Times newspaper, and the author of several 
well-known books. Mrs. Bernard-Beere is also a niece of 
Charles Whitehead, the author of "The Cavalier," and various 
other plays ; she is the widow of Captain Edward Cholmeley 
Bering, the eldest son of Sir Edward Bering, Bart. She is also 
the god-daughter of William Makepeace Thackeray, who always 
called her, when she was a very small child, " the little actress." 
She was a pupil of Mr. Hermann Vezin, and Mrs. Beere made her 
first appearance on the stage at the Opera Comique, under the 
management of Mr. Kingston, acting there for two months. 
After her marriage she left the stage for a time, and on returning 
to it gave a very successful impersonation of Julia in " The 
Rivals," at the St. James's Theatre, which was then under the 
management of Mr. Hayes, and was greatly complimented for her 
acting by Mrs. Keeley, Mrs. Chippendale, and Mr. Walter Lacy. 
She also acted Lady Sneerwell, Grace Harkaway, and Emilia at 
the same theatre, with much success. Mrs. Bernard-Beere then 
appeared at the Royalty Theatre, under the management of Miss 
Fowler, as Lady Mantonville, in a play called " Scandal," adapted 
by Mr. Arthur Matthison from " Les Scandales d'Hier." Buring 
the same year she also played in a round of the old comedies 
at the Crystal Palace, and in the autumn of 1878 she acted 
the leading lady's parts in Mrs. Chippendale's provincial company. 
In a series of her own morning performances, commencing at 
the Olympic Theatre on January 25, 1879, she appeared as 
Constance in " The Love Chase," as Lady Teazle in " The School 
for Scandal," and in "The Lady of Lyons," "London Assurance," and 
"The Hunchback." At the Haymarket Theatre, in April of the same 
year, she acted Lydia Languish in " The Rivals," and in May she 
played Lady Teaale at the same theatre. On March 24, 1879, 
in the first performance of Mr. W. S. Gilbert's " Gretchen," at the 

JAN. i, 1883.] MRS. BERNARD-BEERE. 31 

Olympic Theatre, she appeared as Lisa. In December, 1881, 
she acted the Princesse de Bouillon to the Adrienne Lecouvreur of 
Madame Modjeska, at the Court Theatre. At the Adelphi Theatre, 
Mrs. Bernard-Beere has played Miami in "The Green Bushes," 
Mrs. Desmond in "Kerry," Lady Teazle, and, on March 14, 
1 88 1, Sangarre in the first performance of Mr. Henry J. Byron's 
adaptation of "Michael Strogoff." On November 7, 1881, she 
acted Lady Maude Kennedy in Mr. Dion Boucicault's drama 
called " Mimi," and in the spring of 1882 she appeared in the 
provinces as Bathsheba Everdene in " Far from the Madding 
Crowd." Mrs. Bernard-Beere performed this character which she 
has represented for more than a hundred nights for the first 
time in London at the Globe Theatre, on April 29, 1882. She 
acted Dora Steer in the " Promise of May " at the same theatre, of 
which she then became manageress, on November 1 1 following. It 
may also be mentioned that Mrs. Bernard-Beere has also acted for 
charities, several times in French, when a resident in Brussels. She 
has also played at the Savoy Theatre as Lady Hilda in " Broken 
Hearts," with Mr. W. S. Gilbert as Florian, Mr. Hermann Vezin as 
Mousta, and Miss Marion Terry as Lady Vavir. 

The career of Mrs. Bernard-Beere must be very encouraging to 
such as are never tired of preaching the doctrine that success on 
the stage can never be obtained without hard work. Inclination, 
aptitude, and many physical advantages are necessary at the out- 
set of a career, but the finishing touch is only put on by hard, 
determined, and conscientious work. It is quite true that we have 
now no stock provincial companies the old rough-and-ready 
training schools of actors and actresses but we have got travelling 
companies that are even more advantageous, as they do not 
encourage the bad habit of swallowing and bolting so many parts 
in a week. Out of the record of Mrs. Bernard-Beere's career it 
would be possible to put the finger on two lucky moments : first, 
when she travelled and played the old comedies with the 
Chippendales ; second, when she acted in Mr. Dion Boucicault's 
country company. If young actresses want to learn and study let 
them listen to the experienced voice of their elders in the pro- 
fession. Mrs. Bernard-Beere has acted wisely and done well. 

32 THE THEA TRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

To Polyhymnia. 


WHAT tarriest for, thou Muse of many hymns ? 
Why art not singing in Apollo's train ? 

Hearest thou not the lo Paean's strain ? 
Or is it to thy soul as gull that skims 
On the sea's surface, yet her feather'd limbs 

Leave it behind no rougher ? Art thou fain 

To tell the thought which, circling in thy brain, 
Doth weary thee, then ere 'tis spoken, dims ? 
Image of poet's all ! thou findest ease 

Only where bending branches hush the wind, 
Where wind returns, " Oh, hush ye !" to the trees ; 

So Nature's airy parley soothes thy mind, 
For, in her wise simplicity, she sees 

The Muse would harmony, not silence, find. 



IN dreams I climb the mountain, purple-stained 
Where grows the heather, and that moorland fair 
Which we once wandered o'er, no other there 
Of all God ; s creatures still I hear the stream 
Fretting among the stones yellow and brown, 
Where we sat watching, up the burn and down, 
A darting dragon-fly through shade and gleam. 
What sweet content of silence held us there ? 

Even your words, half cynical, half gay, 

Of how you'd mend the world, would it but stay 

To try your newest theory vision rare 

Of all our time might be fell into calm 

As earth's fresh beauty spoke to each heart's deep ; 

Only in sleep 

Ccmes now to weary brain that sweetest balm, 

Only in dreams yet as I tread the street 

Of this great city, through the unlovely din, 

The sigh of want, the empty laugh of sin, 

Some gracious thought born of that silence sweet 

Uplifts my soul and bids fresh courage take, 

Since even here is sunshine. 

A. L. L. 


1 Oh, God ! is there no end to my sin 
No end to its bitter fruit?" 


JAN. ,, iss 3 .] WILSON BARRETT. 33 

Wilson Barrett. 


AT the present time, when the stage has assumed a position 
and an importance that has seldom before been accorded 
to it ; when intelligent and right - minded people think the 
theatre worthy of their best support and encouragement ; and 
when the public is more interested than it has been for many years 
over theatrical performances, it will not be out of place to consider 
the claims of one who has had a large share in the bringing about 
of this reformation. Rarely, indeed, has so much, so universal 
attention been given to the theatre, to its influence, to its art. 
Few things have made such rapid progress and created so much 
attention as the theatre of to-day compared with that of yesterday. 
For a considerable amount of this happy advancement, it seems to 
me, that the stage is indebted to the genius of such men as Wilson 
Barrett. There are few who have done so much for the good of the 
stage and who are so well-deserving of praise from all true lovers 
of the drama as he. Consider his work his acting, the theatres which 
he conducts, the plays which he produces and it may readily be 
seen that he has always been actuated by the highest motives, 
and has ever had the well-being of the English stage at heart. 
Commencing at the lowest point in the theatrical profession, he 
has risen to the highest, and his name can now be placed in the 
foremost rank of the stage. Step by step, slowly but surely, he 
has carved out his career, and at last he has mounted high on the 
ladder of fame. 

In a recent lecture, Mr. Henry Irving remarked that "theatrical 
enterprise must be carried on as a business, or it will fail as an 
art." Now to make a success out of theatrical enterprise is easy 
enough, if that enterprise is worked upon the principle of the 
tradesman, but to make an art of one's theatrical enterprise, and 
to succeed with that artistic theatrical enterprise, is, to say the 
least, extremely difficult. Those managers who do succeed in 
such a manner are, indeed, scarce enough. But then so few 
managers try to elevate their theatre into an art. Too many of 
them, alas ! are content with taking whatever lies readiest to 


34 THE THE A TRE. QAN-, i, 1883. 

their hands, whether it be in the shape of "legs, short skirts, the 
musical glasses," a giantess, or any other money-producing 
novelty. Now to bring out sterling English plays full of 
interest and human nature, and to have those plays well acted, 
effectively stage-managed, and otherwise placed before the public 
with all that perfection which it is now possible to obtain, is good 
work which should surely be acknowledged and recognized as art. 
It is, without doubt, a noble and a worthy object to revive the 
works of Shakspeare, but then it is not possible to revive his 
works at every theatre. In a lesser way it is an admirable thing 
to reproduce the standard plays of other English dramatists ; and, 
again, it is good to occasionally give us adaptations of certain 
French dramas. 

But, after all, there is much original valuable dramatic work 
waiting to be recognized in this country, therefore all praise 
to the manager who has the faculty to discern it and the courage 
to produce it. In plays, for instance, such as " The Silver 
King " there is that strong interest, sentiment, and pathos, 
which we can all feel and understand. In producing pieces of 
this type, plays full of a strong human and domestic interest, 
well written and skilfully contrived, plays which tell a life 
story, whose strong situations are the natural outcome of the 
drama, Wilson Barrett has benefited the stage greatly. How 
different and how far more eloquent to the mind and heart are 
works of this class compared to those which are purely sensational, 
or, so to say, built upon a sensational incident. This latter 
kind of drama is constructed, one would think, on the reverse prin- 
ciple of preparing the scenery and the sensational effects first, and 
then calling in the author to write the piece and found it on the 
efforts of the scene-painter and the carpenter. How false to art 
this kind of production is does not need to be pointed out here 
its hollowness is perceptible at a glance, and its singular 
weakness must be apparent to every thinking man and woman. 
Putting aside for the moment, the play of " The Silver King," let 
us compare these ultra-realistic productions with, say, " The 
Lights o' London." Here was a drama of pathos, interest, and 
romance ; full of all those 

" Lights and shades, whose well-accorded strife 
Gives all the strength and colour of our life." 

It was found to be full of passion and humanity, to contain 

JAN. i, 1883.] WILSON BARRETT. 35 

strong natural scenes and incidents, and pathetic moments, far 
removed from the so-called " sensational/' or panorama play 
which depends almost solely upon its scenic and panoramic effects 
for whatever little interest it may possess. But though sensation, 
may please for the moment, " the sacred names of friend, father,, 
lover, husband, son, mother, of mankind in general, are," as- 
Marmontel says, " far more pathetic than aught else, and retain 
their claims for ever." It is ever the same with us all, and those 
plays which are strong in their interest, dramatic in their purpose, 
and, withal, full of human nature, will always possess an interest 
for mankind. 

Besides the humanity and purity of tone which pervades- 
them, the plays produced by Wilson Barrett are remarkable for,, 
firstly, the completeness with which they are set on the stage, and 
secondly, for the manner in which they are acted, (i) As a stage- 
manager, Mr. Barrett is probably unexcelled by any one. His 
pieces are always presented with the greatest possible care, and 
with the most scrupulous attention to every detail. The Borough 
scene in "The Lights o' London " was a marvel of stage-grouping 
and worthy in this respect of the much-vaunted skill of the Saxe- 
Meiningers. Instances of skilful management of the stage are 
plentiful in " The Silver King," but, in particular, a scene in the 
second act of that play may be pointed out. The stage represents 
the exterior of an inn, a solidly-built set, and this changes, in full 
sight of the audience and without a moment's delay, into a well- 
arranged room. In the matter of scenery and dresses the pieces 
produced at the Princess's Theatre are perfect. (2) As regards 
the acting of these plays, it is generally excellent, for the genius 
of the principal actor makes itself felt by his fello\v artists, and 
helps to bring out the best qualities which they possess. Wilson 
Barrett infuses his lustre and his personality into all the people 
by whom he is surrounded, with the result that his company 
work in unison and with a will. 

That Wilson Barrett possesses the ability to " create" a 
part he has proved before now, and he has also shown 
us that it is possible for an actor to idealize a common- 
place character or incident, and to elevate the author's work 
In relation to this latter power of the actor, Mr. Matthew 
Arnold has explained that " great artists like Talma and Rachel 
whose power as actors was far superior to the power as poets of 

D 2 

36 THE THE A TRE. [JAN. r, 1883. 

the dramatists whose work they were rendering, filled out with 
their own life and warmth the parts into which they threw them- 
selves, gave body to what was meagre, fire to what was cold, and 
themselves supported the poetry of the French classic drama rather 
than were supported by it." This ability, this life and warmth, Mr. 
Barrett possesses in a marked degree. Every character which he 
undertakes he fills out with his own individuality, and thus 
often places it in a better position than had been given to 
it by the author. His art is versatile, and whatever he does, he 
does well. To confine ourselves to his London performances only, 
let us take, first of all, his Pomerol in " Fernande." It was an 
impersonation consistently calm, full of tact, good sense, and per- 
suasiveness ; an impersonation which stood out in strong contrast 
to the other characters in the play, by reason of its great vigour 
and strength of style. The thorough earnestness of the actor was 
manifest on this occasion, and his playing of the advocate at once 
struck home and called immediate attention to his abilities. Then 
witness the pathos and dignity of his acting as the Reverend 
Richard Capel in " A Clerical Error." Here was a clever and 
charming little play made all the more attractive because it 
possessed a sound actor for the exponent of its principal character. 
Mr. Barrett's trustworthy and versatile art was again manifest in 
the production of Mr. H. J. Byron's comedy " Courtship," when he 
acted the needy swell, Claude de Courcy. 

Then came his Mercutio, a performance full of the glittering 
splendour of vitality, an impersonation full of lightness, intelligence 
and thought, in fact, the only complete realization of this 
complex character that can be called to mind. Mr. Barrett 
thoroughly understood the part ; he had evidently bestowed 
on it a world of careful thought and diligent study, which, allied 
to intelligence of a high order, resulted in a personation full of 
brilliancy and colour, perfectly irresistible in its dazzling splendour. 
We now change from gay to grave, and come to his rendering of 
the tender, loving, monk, Friar John, in Mr. W. G. Wills's 
poetical play, " Juana." His portrayal of the calm, ascetic, self- 
sacrificing priest, was admirable in its fervour, in its tenderness, in 
its devotion. The scene in this play where the monk dreams at 
the organ was one of those touching moments never to be 
forgotten. In this piece, also, Mr. Barrett's excellent delivery of 
blank verse was especially noticeable, both on account of its 

JAN. i, 1883.] WILSON BARRETT. 37 

artistic method and elocution, and because the actor possesses a 
sweet and musical voice. His pathetic acting as the husband in 
"Frou-Frou," and the manliness and tenderness of his John 
Stratton in "The Old Love and the New," should also be 
remembered. In Harold Armytage, the wronged and suffering 
hero of " The Lights o' London," as presented by Wilson 
Barrett, we have the representation of a character full of pride, 
and tenderness, and passion. In the first act of the play we see 
him with his pride broken and his spirit crushed. But presently 
his pride is stung, his dauntless spirit is roused, and then comes 
another swift and sudden change when, with an infinity of ten- 
derness he plucks a flower from the place where he has left his 
wife in safe shelter, and with a burst of passion rushes from 
the house, Then we see him again in the second act where, as the 
wrongfully-accused and escaped convict, he begs for shelter from 
the travelling showman, and pleads for his aid in order that he 
may once more see his wife. Again, watch the joyous meeting 
in the third act between Harold Armytage and his wife, and its 
sudden and fearful interruption. See him also in the fourth act, 
wandering with his starving wife through the pitiless London 
streets, and who is there that will not sympathize with the ill- 
used hero ? Then, in the last part of the play, when the author 
of all the evil appears before him, the spirit of the man can stand 
his aggravation no longer, and it bursts forth in a torrent of 
passion. Of such acting as this it was that Goldsmith wrote of 
Garrick that he was " natural, simple, affecting," and, as 
Churchill said of the same actor, it displays a " thorough know- 
ledge of the human heart." 

But all Wilson Barrett's previous performances clever and 
able as they have been are cast into the shade by the genius 
of his Wilfrid Denver, the hero of Messrs. Henry A. Jones and 
Henry Herman's excellent play, " The Silver King." It is diffi- 
cult to convey in mere words any precise idea of the depth 
and greatness of this impersonation. In order to accurately 
describe and analyze such a performance, the critic requires so keen 
a power of perception and appreciation that he may well ponder 
seriously before his task. It is not such a piece of acting as may 
be curtly dismissed in a sentence or two, but rather is it one of 
those bright pictures of finished art that mark the turning point 
in an actor's career, and places him far above the majority of his 

38 THE THE A TRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

fellow artists. By this time, the story of the play and the history 
of the principal character whose life constitutes that story, are pro- 
bably well-known. Let us examine, then, the idea conveyed by 
the actor in the first scene of the drama. Wilfred Denver, as 
presented by Mr. Barrett, is no dissolute, crime-hardened reprobate, 
but an unfortunate man who has tasted the follies of life and is 
going rapidly down hill for the want of a firm and true friend to 
check his mad career. He is not a creature to be hated and 
despised, but a man to be pitied and loved by those who 
see and surround him. He is reckless, but not a scamp he 
is intoxicated, but not a scoundrel ; his love for his wife is brought 
prominently forward. The key-note to the character is struck 
with admirable skill by Mr. Barrett, and at the outset of the drama 
the actor firmly secures the entire sympathies of his audience. 
Thus the play has a capital start, and the novel and interesting 
situation at the end of the first act is led up to with everything, so 
ifar, in favour of the character and its impersonator. But, see, Denver 
is reviving from the effects of the chloroform so fiendishly adminis- 
tered to him. He is conscious of having struggled with some one, 
and of his purpose. He had come to shoot Geoffrey Ware. His 
senses are dazed, and he wants to go home to the wife who loves 
him so well. In searching for his hat, he comes across the body 
of the murdered man. Mark how cautiously he touches it at 
first. But what a sudden change of expression comes over his 
face when he finds that the heart no longer beats the man 
is dead ! It is a revelation of thought, and the terrible look 
of despair and anguish which passes over Mr. Barrett's features 
during this scene can only spring from genius. The depth and 
tearful meaning of the situation is realized to its utmost extent, 
.and had Mr. Barrett done nothing else than this he would be 
entitled to be classed with the few really great actors of this 
century. But the part is bravely borne all through the play, and 
at the conclusion of the second act there is another remarkable 
instance of forcible and vivid acting. It comes in the scene 
where Denver learns that he is a free man, though dead to 
the world, dead to his wife. There is an infinite depth of 
pathos in this situation, and it is portrayed with noble art by 
Mr. Barrett. The expression of thanks to the Almighty for 
his deliverance from a fearful death, and his resolution to lead 
.a new life, are beautiful points in the play, idealized and treated 

JAN, i, 1883.] WILSON BARRETT. 39 

with glowing effect by the actor. Then witness the quiet 
dignity of the white-haired hero when he returns after his 
four years of sorrow and bitter repentance for a crime 
which he has never committed. What a change has come 
over the man, and how beautifully it is expressed by 
the actor ! All his passion and excitement have cooled down, 
and he is now aged and subdued by sorrow. He sees the wife he 
may not acknowledge, and kisses the child he may not own. The 
gentle pathos of the meeting between the father and child, and the 
touching recognition of his master by the faithful old servant, are 
dramatic moments of infinite value, and should be seen to be 
thoroughly felt and appreciated. Again, watch the contrast of 
the passion and pathos of the former scenes in the drama with the 
momentary lightness and gaiety displayed by Mr. Barrett in the 
opening of the last act. The Silver King, as Denver is called, has 
discovered that he is innocent of all crime. The long night of 
sorrow has passed, the day of happiness has arrived, The prospect 
of returning to the wife who believes him dead, with the good news 
of his innocence, lights up his face and brings joy to his careworn 
features. Last scene of all, comes the quiet and repose when the 
fugitive has returned home, and his character is proved stainless. 
The truth of the beautiful lines quoted from " In Memoriam," 

" That men may rise on stepping-stones 
Of their dead selves to higher things," 

is illustrated, and the play ends in peace and calm. The spectator 
must, indeed, be callous who remains untouched by so excellent a 
play as " The Silver King," and so noble and great an impersona- 
tion as the Wilfrid Denver of Wilson Barrett. 

Mr. Barrett's style of acting has many beauties, and it will 
not be out of place to call attention here to the chief of them. 
George the Third remarked of David Garrick that he " never 
could stand still he was a great fidget/' Now the repose of a 
great actor in moments of calm is seldom studied or, indeed, 
little, if ever, thought of. The artist, therefore, who has mastered 
this art of repose, deserves that his accomplishment should not 
be lightly passed over, and Wilson Barrett's repose is perfect. 
His attitudes are never exaggerated, his gestures are never 
out of place. Lessing complained of the actors of his own day 
that they spoilt everything by their gestures. They neither knew 

40 THE THE A TRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

when they should make any or of what kind. They usually 
made too many and too insignificant ones. The absence of 
restraint and repose on the stage was just as noticeable then as 
now. " When in an agitated scene," says Lessing, " the soul sud- 
denly seems to collect itself to cast a reflective glance upon itself or 
that which surrounds it, it is natural that it should command all the 
movements of the body that depend upon its will. Not only the 
voice grows more composed, the limbs also fall into a condition 
of rest, to express the inner rest without which the eye of reason 
cannot well look about it. The unquiet foot treads more firmly, 
the arms sink, the whole body raises itself into an upright 
position ; a pause and then the reflection. The man stands 
there in solemn silence as if he would not disturb himself from 
hearing himself. .... Only the face during the reflection still 
retains the traces of agitation ; mien and eye are still on fire 
and moved, for mien and eye are not so quickly within 
our control as foot and hand/' This long translation may 
be pardoned, for it so aptly illustrates that calm and repose 
which come so readily to the command of Mr. Barrett. This 
repose is particularly observable in " The Lights o' London," in 
the scene where Harold Armytage is stung by his father's insults, 
and again where he comes face to face with the villain, Clifford. 
It is noticeable in " The Silver King," in the third act, where 
Wilfrid Denver enters, aged with sorrow, and ponders over the 
words, " Repentance ! Pardon ! Peace ! " In the scene in the 
last act Avhere Denver repels the overtures of the scoundrel 
through whom he has suffered so much, Mr. Barrett's repose is 
also absolutely perfect. 

Another phase of art in which Mr. Barrett excels, is in the 
movements always graceful and consistent of his limbs. 
Hogarth has advised actors how to move their hands in beautiful 
undulatory lines, so as to make them supple in movement, and 
to make the movements of grace familiar to their arms. Had 
Hogarth lived to-day he might have pointed to Wilson Barrett 
as one of the most perfect actors in this respect, at least, that 
our stage possesses. Added to these accomplishments, he 
has a lithe figure, a handsome and expressive countenance, 
an eloquent eye, and a sweet and musical voice. But these 
gifts, to quote once more from Lessing, " are neither the only nor 
the greatest perfections of the actor. Valuable gifts of Nature are 

JAN. i, 1883.] OUR PLA Y-BOX. 41 

very necessary to his calling, but they by no ireans suffice for it. 
He mubt everywhere think with the poet ; he must even think for 
him in places where the poet has shown himself human." 
This necessary ability to think with and for the author must also 
be added to the list of Wilson Barrett's talents, for he has at all 
times and in whatever plays he has acted, shown himself to 
possess the capacity for thinking with, and for, and interpreting 
correctly, the work of the poet or dramatist 

I have endeavoured to show, however imperfectly, that Wilson 
Barrett is no ordinary actor, and that his aims are high. His 
work is always skilful and elaborate, his acting is marked by 
power and fine feeling, and his theatres are controlled with 
excellent judgment and taste. For a large share of its advancement 
the drama of to-day owes much to his well-directed efforts, and 
I do not think that I am wrong in placing him at the head 
and front of the English stage, and assigning him a position 
amongst the leaders of the drama and the greatest of actors. 



A New and Original Drama, in a Prologue and Five Acts, by CHARLES READE, and HENRY PETTITT. 
Produced at the Adelphi Theatre, Saturday, November 18, 1882. 

Colonel Clifford 
Robert Hartley 
Walter Clifford 
Leonard Monkton 
Percy Fitzroy ... 
Ben Burnley ... 
Jem Seaton 
Tom Sydney ... 


John Towers ... 
William Hope... 
Julia Clifford ... 
Lucy Monkton 
Rosa Brown ... 
Nurse Parker ... 
Mary Bartley ... 

... MR. J. H. CLYNDS. 
... Miss SOPHIE EYRE. 
... Miss B. FARQUHAR. 
... Miss ASHLEY. 
... Miss HEFFER. 
... Miss AMY ROSELLE. 

THIS is a good, old-fashioned, nervous melodrama, with one 
fine scene. It is the kind of play that an Adelphi audience 
loves, and it has been so cleverly put together as to counteract the 
spirit of ridicule that burlesque has brought upon plays of excite- 
ment, rhetoric, and spirited action. Mr. Charles Reade believes 
in the school of melodrama that is hot, strong and to the point, 
and he dearly loves to allow music to accompany the movement 
ot the play. This clever author never writes anything that is not 
worth listening to, and, on the whole, his collaboration with Mr. 
Pettitt has been attended with success. The current of the 
present story flows towards what has been generally called the 

4^ THE THE A TRE. QAN. i, 1883. 

mine scene, intended to illustrate a touching incident in real life 
some years ago, when, after patient working and heroic endurance, 
some coal-miners buried alive in one of the workings were even- 
tually rescued by their faithful companions. In this case, in order 
to save the life of his starving child, a workman, called Hope, 
allows his own infant to be substituted for the dead daughter of a rich 
but unscrupulous colliery proprietor, on the condition that Hope, 
who is a practical engineer, may assist in the business and watch 
over the child. Hope is the type of injured virtue, and the 
villains of the story plot against his life. But Hope's daughter, 
who in after years has discovered her real father, accidentally 
hears of a scheme to murder him, by causing an explosion in the 
mine. At the risk of her life the intrepid girl goes down into the 
mine to warn her father, and is herself caught in the trap that \vas 
laid for Hope alone. Then follows a scene of striking significance. 
The explosion takes place, and both daughter and father are left 
to die. No one is there with them in the awful and impenetrable 
darkness but the villain. Suddenly, when death is upon them, 
they hear the click of an advancing pick. Rescue is at hand 
when all \vas so nearly lost. The villain makes one desperate 
effort to flood the mine, but the wretched sufferers are rescued 
eventually, amidst the cheers of the delighted audience. It is 
difficult to convey an idea of the growing excitement, or of the 
climax of this remarkable scene so elaborately and successfully 
brought about. The motive is primarily good, and the result 
highly striking and picturesque. Such plays as these require 
strong, nervous, manly acting. They must be grasped boldly and 
attacked resolutely. This one in particular has brought forward 
for commendation Mr. J. H. Clynds an actor very favourably 
known at the east end of London, whose style has not been 
spoiled by many years of transpontine acquaintance. As modest, 
no doubt, an actor, as Mr. Reynolds, of the Britannia, and Mr. J .B. 
Howe, of so many East-end theatres, Mr. Clynds has hitherto kept 
himself in the background. Now he has emancipated himself, as 
Mr. Fernandez and Mr. T. Thorne didbeforehim. Miss Amy Roselle 
has. unfortunately, been very much out of health, but she shows her 
accustomed intelligence as the heroine of the play. It will be 
acted at Christmas-time, in connection with another charming- 
play by Mr. Charles Reade, called " Rachel the Reaper," which is 
not known in London. 

JAN. i, ,883.3 OUR PL A Y-BOX. 43 


A New Play by B. C. STKPHENSON. Founded on " La Maison du Mari." 
First produced at the St. James's Theatre, on Saturday, December 9, 1882. 

Mrs. Beresford ... MRS. KENDAL. 

Mrs. Macdonald ... Miss LINDA DIETZ. 

Miss Kilmore ... MRS. GASTON MURRAY. 

Mrs. Birkett ... Miss COWLE. 

Sir Henry Auckland MR. BEAUMONT. 

Colonel Macdonald MR. T. N. WENMAN. 

Captain Crichton ... MR. KENDAL. 

Victor de Kiel MR. ARTHUR DACKE. 

Graham MR. BRANDON. 

J'arker MR. DRUMMOND. 

Waiter MR. DE VERNEY. 

IT was curious to observe how the whole audience shied at this 
play before they had heard a line of it uttered. The author, Mr. 
B. C. Stephenson, had said that it was founded on " La Maison du 
Mari." That was quite enough for the audience. See how an 
author is fettered ! If he says no word about his inspiration he is 
ferreted out by some consequential person as a plagiarist. If he 
avows that he is not strictly original, he is considered a purveyor 
of immoral literature. Oh ! these humbugs ; these English people ; 
do they know that u Box and Cox," that racy old English 
farce, is a French play in foundation and in whole pages of 
dialogue ? If you doubt me, read " Frisette." Do they know 
that the most popular plays in our language can be traced to 
something that is not English ? Do they convince themselves 
even of the fact that scarcely one plot in Shakspeare is his own ? 
Not a bit of it ; they ignorantly imagine that a French play must 
necessarily be immoral, and they cast stones at it accordingly. But 
liow about the " Maison du Mari ?" Not a living soul in the 
theatre had ever heard of it. No one knew when it was produced, 
or when it was acted, or who played in it. Yet they pretended to 
argue that " Impulse " must be an improper play because it was 
founded on the French, and must be wholly French because it is 
founded on a French play. Indeed, inspired by this laudable am- 
bition to reserve the stage of England for the feeble efforts of in- 
competent playwrights, there were some in the audience prepared to 
hiss before the very first scene was developed. They had nastiness 
in their minds and they wanted to fasten it on the poor play. 
Push this ridiculous theory to an absurdity. A Moliere arises in 
France, a Goethe in Germany, a Shakspeare in England. These 
geniuses are not to be interchangeable. No country may take 
up an author born abroad. We may read French novels and 
German books, but never see a French play. The genius of a 
Sardou is to be denied to us. We may not admire his dramatic 
talent. It is a crime ! Each country is to stick to its 

44 THE THE A TRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

own dull mediocrity. The whole theory about French plays is 
nonsense. The audience wants a good play, an amusing play, 
an emotional play, a witty play, and does not care one snap 
of the fingers who inspired the author so long as they are 
amused. If the author can so utilize a French play as to amuse 
and interest an English audience, well and good ; the audience 
does not require anything better, believe me. 

I will tell you a story. A Mrs. Macdonald is dawdling her 
life out with her family down at Brakespeare. Her father, an 
old hunting squire, idolizes her. Her widowed sister, Mrs. 
Beresford, pets and patronizes her. She is a strange, affectionate 
creature, and she wants to be loved. But why is she not loved 
and satisfied, seeing that she has a husband ? Well, Colonel 
Macdonald elects to serve for three years as a volunteer at the 
Cape instead of loving his wife, and the consequence is that she 
is fascinated by Victor de Kiel, a handsome Frenchman. It is 
all very wrong ; but the poor woman cannot help it. She wants 
to be loved by someone, and to put it neatly the Frenchman 
interests her whilst her husband is away. The Frenchman is so 
interested in her that he proposes to elope with her, and she 
refuses until she hears that her husband is to return on that very 
day. And then she consents. So like a woman. She believes 
her husband has heard the voice of infidelity in her heart. She 
does run away and makes a wretched business of it, for when she 
has eloped she is met by her husband instead of her lover and 
there is a scene ! She has done no real harm, and her husband 
takes her back to his home, but not to his heart. All goes on 
steadily again. The family is still united, and Colonel Macdonald 
only wants a good chance of making friends with his wife, when 
Victor de Kiel, now blossomed into a Count de Something his 
father being dead appears upon the scene. He tries to force 
the wretched woman to fulfil her promise ; to love him still ; but 
finding that she is contrite, he threatens. He says he will call 
out her husband and shoot him unless she consents to introduce 
him to her household. And she is weak enough to yield. Such 
a villain must come to condemnation, and the rest of the play is 
devoted to securing his punishment. Colonel Macdonald interrupts 
an interview, when his wife acknowledges her steadfast love for 
her husband, takes her to his heart, and, exit villain. What is 
there then immoral in this story, and why should it not be 

JAN. r, ,883.] OUR PLA Y-BOX. 45 

English life as well as French life ? I cannot say ; but I am 
certain that the English people will go and see the play. 

I should like to linger on the performance of Miss Linda Dietz, 
because I consider it so remarkably good. The play in essence is 
the life of Mrs. Macdonald, and from the first moment that Miss 
Dietz stepped upon the stage she interested you in the play. 
The eye followed her, the heart felt for her. She was just the 
woman the author intended to represent. She was weighed 
down with the depression that love gives. She was not herself. 
She was tired and weary and reflective. The performance came 
as a surprise, because English actresses of ambition have left off 
thinking. They play their parts : they do not think them. Take 
away Mrs. Bancroft, Mrs. Kendal, and Miss Terry, and how few 
are left ? If Miss Linda Dietz chooses to play again as well as 
this, she will make a great name, for art like hers is wanted. 
Mr. Wenman, as the husband of this tender, affectionate woman, 
was admirable ; and Mr. Arthur Dacre, in the most difficult 
character in the whole play, surprised even his warmest admirers. 
He had it in his power to ruin the play, and he saved it. Such a 
villain as that inartistically treated would have collapsed the 
whole thing ; but Mr. Dacre was equal to the occasion. If 
any one wants to see good comedy acting, not farcical buffoonery, 
let them study Mr. and Mrs. Kendal and Mrs. Gaston Murray in 
this play. Nothing better of its kind has been seen for years ; it 
is the most delicate humour conceivable. Mr. Beaumont fits 
well into this clever company ; and all I can say is, that if I were 
consulted about the kind of play to see as I very often am I 
should say " Impulse," certainly. The matrons would be amused ; 
the maids would like it. It is a good play, and it is as well acted 
as anything we have seen for many years. 

46 THE THE A TRE. [JAN. i, 



SIR, In your extract from Mr. Boucicault's letter he says, " This is an organ- 
ized gang who attend the performance of all important plays. With what 
object they conspire I have not heard." It would be strange if he had, seeing 
that the conspiracy exists in his imagination, and would be extremely 
annoying were it not so absurd. 

Mr. Boucicault goes on to say that the managers of the Vaudeville, the 
Court, and the Criterion had vainly protested against this conspiracy till 
Mr. Henderson took the business in hand, and packed the pit on a certain 
first night. Now, in my humble opinion, the Vaudeville management has 
dealt even more successfully with the pit. Instead of " packing the pit " 
it has given us sterling, well-acted plays, and a steady policy, and since 
then I fancy there has been no talk of conspiracy. 

But though I do not suppose you entertain the idea of the first-nighters 
being " an organized gang," still you think that of late the pit has not been 
alive to its great responsibilities, that it has failed in generosity and candour, 
and that intelligence and judgment are wanting among us. It may be so. 
But when, during the last three years, has not the verdict of the pit, when 
it has in any way condemned a play, been endorsed by the critics next day ? 
I think of the first nights of " Cobwebs," "Jacks and Jills," " Branded," 
" Mimi." " Dust," " The Manager," and I look back at the critiques (for I 
do not throw them in the waste-paper basket), and I see there the de- 
cidedly adverse verdict of the pit on all those plays fully confirmed. Can 
any one pretend to say that " The Manager " did not deserve the severe re- 
ception it met with ? although " Mimi " was laughed at, at the same theatre, 
but the laughter was not confined to pit and gallery, and it was well deserved. 
But "Honour," "Awaking," and ' The Parvenu " were received without 
disturbance, though the first-mentioned played till so late an hour that 
most who had trains to catch were unable to see the end. How did we 
receive "Juana?" a play whatever its dramatic faults may be full of 
passion and poetry, far above our heads ; were we the unthinking, noisy, 
conspirators that we are reputed to be ? We welcomed " Juana " with 
delight, and wondered at playgoers allowing it to be taken off so soon. It 
was not the pit who killed " Juana." Then, " The Cynic." I do not think 
there was a sound of dissent on the first night of " The Cynic," and I have 
never come across a pittite who did not admire the play. Yet that was 
not the simplest, easiest play to understand, but one that required some 
little thought and intelligence. If we are so utterly without feeling and 
reverence might we not have raised a laugh at many a line in " The Squire," 
where religion and sentiment are touched upon, or in " The Silver King," 
where there are allusions that are voted slow and goody-goody, now-a-days ? 

JAN. i, 1883.] LETTER TO THE EDITOR. 47 

for free-thinking, or, perhaps, on-the-surface-atheism, if I may so express it, 
is not a monopoly by any particular class now that all conditions of 
men read and hear of all sorts of books. 

There is no denying that the Laureate's play was received irreverently 
on that fatal Saturday evening, but I think there is something to be said in 
extenuation even here. The play was a great disappointment. Expecta- 
tion had been rife so long ; from all accounts the tragedy was to be so grand 
yet so simple and pathetic ; we had had such visions of the " Earl who 
was fair to see,''' and the vengeful sister ; the heavy price that had been 
paid for the work seemed to ensure that it was good ; and then it began, 
and sentence by sentence it displayed its weakness. Some of the more 
sober of us recognized charming thoughts here and there, but the play 
had the fatal effect of boring the majority of an audience that had 
already suffered from various causes. We forgot then it was the work of 
a great poet, and we expressed our opinion as we should have done 
had the author been any other. After all, we go to the theatre because 
we love the play, and it matters little to us who writes, as long as 
the play is good we have no prejudice for or against the author 
for any previous work. 

I arn afraid I have said more than enough already, and yet I should like 
to say one thing more, and that is, while everything is expected from the 
pit, very little is granted to it ; and I think if managers considered they 
would see there is much to upset the temper of that part of the house 
before the play begins. We stand long hours to get a good place of 
course that is our own affair, and no one would wish to have it altered 
but at the end of this long wait it is hard to find the front row already 
half full, as is sometimes the case. The entrances to most of the pits are 
awkward, if not, as is the case at the Globe and Savoy, positively dangerous. 
When we do get in we have to listen to a weary farce that is an insult to 
common sense. As soon as the curtain rises the stalls begin to come in, 
and for the next ten minutes we are annoyed by the passing to and fro and 
the sitting down of the late comers ; perhaps we lose the thread of the play 
and get careless and fidgety. The pit is not a particularly comfortable 
place now-a-days, pushed away as it is under the dress-circle, and generally 
consisting of bare backless benches; and, perhaps, this helps to keep 
away the elder men who might steady us. Then, if managers are so greedy 
as to pack people into seats behind pillars, and in corners where they 
cannot see, they are dull, and will most certainly become noisy. I do not 
think there are often disturbances where the management is more con- 
siderate. Finally, we are rebuked and blamed in the papers with never a 
chance of standing up for ourselves, unless you give it us, as I hope you 
will this time, and believe me, yours truly, 



Imitations of German Lays and 



"X/ESTERN, brothers who would think it ! 

i As I raised my wine to drink it, 
Just imagine my affright ! 
Death called on me yesternight. 

Threateningly his scythe he shook, 
Sternly spoke, with awful look ; 
" Hence, thou slave to wine ! enough ! 
Thou hast drunk thy quantum suff" 

" Ah ! friend Death," I stammered, sobbing, 
" Wilt thou me of life be robbing ? 
See ! there's wine at thy behest ; 
Gracious Death, ah ! let me rest ! " 

Straight he seized the brimming cup, 
Grimly smiled, and drank it up, 
Yea, unto the utmost drain 
Grinning, set it down again. 

" Sure," thought I, " I am respited," 
But my hopes he quickly blighted. 
" Fool ! dost think a draught of wine 
Can save thee from becoming mine ? " 

" Death !" I gasped, " my chief ambition 

Is to be a great physician. 

Let me live ! All patients mine 

To thy clutches I'll consign." 

" Well, if that's your game, my hearty, 
From your patients I'll not part ye. 
Till of wine and kisses weary 
Live ! till then I won't come near ye !" 

Oh ! how sweet his sentence sounded 
With new life my bosom bounded. 
Brave old Death ! one bumper more 
Friends are we for evermore. 

Thus my life shall finish never ! 
Bacchus ! I shall live for ever ! 
Ever live for Love and Wine, 
Love and Wine be ever mine. 


JAN. i, iSS 3 .] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 49 

uv mntbus Bojr. 

OUT of the scores of letters I have received on the subject of first- 
night audiences there is one complaint so serious that it would be 
well if managers would look to it at once and put an end to it for ever. It is 
deliberately stated that priority of admission is granted to certain favoured 
individuals, and that when the public the great paying public rushes in 
after waiting for hours and hours at the doors they find the seats for which 
they have so patiently waited secured by those who are not entitled to 
them. If this be so, managers cannot be surprised if a spirit of impatience 
and dissatisfaction reigns throughout the house. A pittite, however 
enthusiastic, would be a miracle of patience if he could endure standing in 
the cold and wet from four o'clock in the afternoon only to see that he had 
been forestalled and to know that he must wait until nine o'clock in the 
evening before he can get any decent dramatic food. And then of course 
the long waits and the miserable music are enough to vex a saint. But 
listen to another tale, put forward by a correspondent : " The unfortu- 
nate reception of the play of the Poet Laureate on its production, was 
due in a great measure to the tardiness of the commencement and to the 
long waits between the acts. The pit became impatient with the constant 
repetition of ' that gavotte ' played by the orchestra. If they had been 
amused they would not have thought of * their trains and their trams.' 
There was not the slightest sign of impatience on the opening night of 
' lolanthe/ although the opera was not concluded till a quarter before 
midnight, and some of the pittites had been waiting since four o'clock in 
the afternoon. These, on entering the theatre, found the first three rows 
in the centre of the pit occupied, and a policeman on duty, who was told 
by one of the attendants that ' if they kicked up a row to turn them out.' 
Of course a management has every right to fill the pit and gallery, if it 
chose, before the doors are opened ; but I maintain that any one who has 
the patience to wait from four till eight at a pit door deserves a front seat. 
If the front rows are filled there ought to be a notice placed on the door to 
that effect, in order that the pittites may not enter the theatre in a dissatisfied 
and ill-humoured frame of mind." 

The wretched, miserable, and tasteless music given by the orchestra 
is, I am confident, the reason of much discontent. If the play is dull 
and lugubrious the orchestra is sure to add depression to the dulness 
between the acts. They are too fond of playing the tune that the 
old cow died of, and it seldom occurs to a leader of a theatrical 
orchestra that when the curtain is down the spirits of the audience 
should be kept up. Instead of making the people merry they make 
them howl. And they play the same tune over and over again till im- 
patience is inevitable. The gods will not endure "damnable iteration," but 
no manager apparently dreams of seeing how far the entr'acte music inter- 

50 THE THEATRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

feres with the progress of his play. He leaves it to the conductor blindly. 
Hence these tears ! It is a pleasure to go to the Court or Adelphi Theatres 
because the music is arranged on an intelligent plan by Herr Carl Armbriister 
; and by Mr. Oscar Barrett. They don't weary the audiences : they delight them. 
At the same time, should not the pit discountenance and discourage the 
irreverent spirit of "chaff" that prevails on first nights. It sounds very 
clever, no doubt, to make some cutting remark at the expense of the 
author, the actor, or the management ; and it may be consolatory to the 
wag to see the fact duly chronicled in his favourite journal. But, after 
all, rudeness is the easiest of all modern accomplishments; it is far 
quicker acquired than politeness. Let the pit be just, stern, prompt to 
put down insolence, carelessness, or unworthiness of any kind, but let it be 
merciful. A play that has cost years of anxious labour and hours of 
thought, may be ruined by the careless joke that comes to the 
tongue, but is resisted by all -who understand what mercy is. There 
are some people who literally appear to come to the theatre in order to 
discover what they can ridicule, not what they can admire. Such 
people are a nuisance, and they ought to be told so by their com- 

I invited correspondence on the subject of first-night audiences and the 
atmosphere of discontent that has prevailed of late, and am always glad to 
give publicity to views however diametrically opposed they may be to my 
own. There is a good deal of sound common sense in the following 
letter, though I cannot shake off the idea that a certain reverence should 
be extended to our Tennysons however mistaken, and our Victor Hugos 
however extravagant. After all they are great men : " In reference to your 
remarks, anent the ' Promise of May,' and the first night's reception of 
that uninteresting play, is not the simple question involved whether or not 
an audience should treat a drama from the pen of a man of such eminence 
as Alfred Tennyson, differently from the work of what one may call an 
every-day-dramatist ? You say that if the ' mob of gentlemen' had been 
alive to the fact that the work in question was that of the author of ' In 
Memoriam,' it would have been treated with ' ordinary respect.' But is 
it not the fact that it was so treated and therefore necessarily condemned, 
though with greater ridicule than can be defended. If extra ordinary respect 
had been shown on account of the position of the author, it seems to me such 
a course would have been not only to encourage poor stage workmanship, 
tmt to treat unfairly the every-day-dramatists, and had the audience not ex- 
pressed freely their feelings, the verdict would have been most misleading. 
In a word, if a Poet Laureate chooses to write for the stage, why is he not 
to be judged by the rules and in the manner adopted in the cases of other 
writers ? It must, however, be granted that the management seemed to 
have done all in their power to render the audience, particularly the pit, 
uncomfortable, and to put them in a discontented frame of mind. The 
agony suffered by the pittites in getting in was something to be remembered 
and acutely felt at the time, and then the tedious waits and poor music 
were very trying. But allowing for all this, can it be denied that the 
verdict given on the first night was not correct, though perhaps too pro- 

j xx. i, 1883. J OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 51 

nounced ? I, for one, sincerely wish Mrs. Beere better luck in her next 
venture, and most truly regret the failure of her present plucky attempt." 

A Correspondent, who bitterly complains of my " verbosity," forwards 
me a letter of five folio pages in reply to it, warmly defending the attitude 
of the audiences towards the " Promise of May." This is scarcely con- 
sistent. I wish I had room for my friend's essay, but as I like fair play I 
will only quote those passages in which I am more directly alluded to ; but I 
would venture to refer the writer to a " Symposium" on this important ques- 
tion in one of the earliest numbers of THE THEATRE, and my continued sup- 
port of that time-honoured institution to show he has been hasty in drawing 
the conclusion he has : " Doubtless you grimly reflected with much satisfac- 
tion whilst penning those sweeping denunciations, that your opinions would 
be allowed to pass unchallenged by any one individual of this seemingly 
despised ' organized gang,' and it is clearly evident you firmly believed in 
the sheer impossibility of one of the number attempting to justify past 
behaviour. Such, however, is my task. With great advantage the length 
of the attack in December's number might have been compressed into 
fewer words. I was present on the evening in question, and as this 
evening forms the basis of the statements on the one side, other and 
contrary impressions may as well be recorded. I grant that at times it was 
an uproarious assemblage, but was there not cause for the exhibitions 
of feeling indulged in ? I venture to suggest your application of the 
term ' uproarious ' would have served every and any purpose, without 
entering into details, the grace of which cannot have an otherwise effect 
than that of causing an intense admiration of the structure of the verbosity 
combined with a rich appreciation of the writer's gift of descriptive narration. 
An uncalled-for and much exaggerated infliction. There was not the 
slightest need for the abusive manner adopted ; bare assertions form no 
argument. It has been a good opportunity for again making this praise- 
worthy charge against the ' first nighters.' Prejudice, ever prejudice ! Do 
we ever hear a note made of the approval of the ' first nighters ?' No ! 
never. Only when deserving disapproval is given vent to, some captious 
critic, with finely strung nerves, takes upon himself the responsibility of 
finding fault as has been proved many times before bringing into 
prominence a body of experienced playgoers, who flatter themselves they, 
by this time, possess sufficient discrimination to elect from a selection of 
plays which they prefer. In 1 860 ' The Promise of May ' would have been 
hissed off the stage. As it was, the play was listened to eagerly and quietly 
the moment the curtain went up, but immediately after the entrance 
of Edgar, the true vein was touched, and the house ay, even some of 
the most distinguished company laughed at the ' ambitious but uncon- 
ventional' production. Mr. Dion Boucicault's ' outspokenness' is scarcely 
worthy of comment, betraying, as it does, an assumed profound ignorance 
of the matter of which he writes." 

To sum up this pit question. A writer in the Evening News in his proper 
judgment has assumed that I am antagonistic to the institution of the 
pit, its rights, its privileges, its duties, and its influence. There never was 
a more mistaken assumption. Anyone who cares to turn to the " Era 

E 2 

52 THE THEATRE. QAX. i, 1883. 

Almanack of 1875," and tnere reads "A Plea for the Pit," and any one who 
remembers the strong part I took in the controversy that arose on the 
abolition of the pit at the Haymarket Theatre, will acquit me of any such 
charge. Bat I am not a playgoer of merely to-day, as are many of my 
correspondents. I have not missed an important first night in London since 
the month of May, 1860 nearly twenty-three years ago and I presume 
I may be allowed to know something of the subject of which I speak, 
and to notice any strong change in public manners. What I said was, and 
what I say is, that the occasional insolence of the minority is not checked 
by the often good sense of the majority. What I said was, and what I 
say is, that the disposition the growing disposition of the minority is to 
jeer, to flout, to scorn, and to ridicule. The tendency of the house is not 
to be tolerant in judgment, but to be hasty. The reverential spirit in the 
audience is discouraged. That the majority of good fellows has the 
power to exercise a check over careless ribaldry cannot be doubted. I 
believe this very controversy has borne good fruit. The other night at the 
St. James's Theatre there was a tendency to hiss and scorn in the very 
first act of "Impulse." It was the careless speed of the minority. But the 
majority put it down, stamped upon the fire and extinguished it at once. 
The consequence was that a clever play was listened to with patience, and 
received with enthusiasm by the whole house. 

The pittite thinks he has a grievance. The managers of combined 
London think that the experience of several years past entitles them 
to a very serious complaint. I don't pretend to decide the question, 
but I will favour my friends with a few facts. I say this, and I defy 
contradiction, that it is the custom where a play has failed, and has caused 
discontent to the whole house, to call out the author in order to hiss him. 
I say honestly that I think this custom both cowardly and cruel. It is 
opposed to all English ideas of fair play. To fail is not a crime to be 
rewarded with public execration. It is bad enough for a wretched 
author to go home miserable, without being hooted like a despised 
dog. I can recall an instance where an author had written an 
historical play that did not meet with the approval of the audience, 
though it was not altogether contemptible in a literary sense. The pit and 
gallery called out that unfortunate author in order to hiss and hoot at him 
for failing. Having some self-respect he refused to come out. They 
followed him up to theatre after theatre, and, finding him out one night 
sitting in the stalls with a lady, they called out his name during a silent 
entr'acte, and groaned and jeered at him till they were hoarse. I say that 
conduct was both unworthy and ungenerous, and I say further that there 
was not one man found in that whole audience to protect not the man 
but the lady who was insulted through him. These instances are ex- 
ceptional no doubt, but they illustrate what I meant when I asserted that 
the pit, being a good institution, like the House of Commons, should 
respect its traditions, and advocate fair play to manager, to author, to 
actor, to actress, to individuals. There has always been the spirit of fair- 
play, but gratuitous rudeness and idle chaff have been permitted to go 
unchecked too lont^. Verbum sat sapient i ! 

JAN. i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 53 

The marriage of Mdlle. Hortense Schneider, "Grand Duchesse de 
Geroldstein," to the Italian Marquis de Bionno, has recalled to mind an 
old anecdote concerning the once universally-adored queen of opera 
bouffe. As Eoulotte, in the first act of " Barbe-Bleu," \vhen the piece was 
first produced, she used to eat real cherries, and as the run of the opera 
continued long after the season for this fruit, it was not without some diffi- 
culty and much cost that the juicy berries were found for her, as they were. 
Now, la belle Hortense was accustomed every evening to throw the stone 
of one of her cherries amongst the audience, generally in the direction of 
one of her adorers, who delightedly hastened to put it into his waistcoat- 
pocket, for preservation as a charming memento. One evening, one of the 
much sought cherry-stones fell by chance into the hands of a gentleman who 
was not a proclaimed adorer of the bewitching actress, who thought he 
could turn it to better use than that to which another might put it. He 
planted the precious stone, and, thanks to his careful culture, there grew 
'from it a vigorous, and, in time, fruit-bearing tree; but it was not till four 
or five years had elapsed that Mdlle. Schneider learned the fate of this one 
of her cherry-stones, on the gentleman who had reared it sending her a 
basketful of its first-fruits a present regularly continued every year,, but 
(may we successfully " defy augury ?") no more to be renewed. Boulotte 
has become Madame la Marquise de Bionno, but, at the first approach of 
the breath of the past winter, the cherry-tree, which may be said to have 
owed its life to her, withered and died it is even said, on the day of her 

One day, while fulfilling an engagement at St. Petersburgh, one of the 
most charming of the actresses of Paris took a fancy to go for a ride in a 
hired vehicle with one of her friends. The driver was a handsome young 
man of distinguished appearance. Conversing with her friend aloud, the 
pretty Parisienne said : " How extremely good-looking he is ! What a 
pity he is a foreigner, and only knows Russian a language so unpoetical. 
I should so much have liked to converse with him." Her friend made a 
sign to her that the handsome coachman might hear what she was saying. 
" Bah ! he does not understand French. I declare I've quite fallen in love 
with him ! " The ride ended, the impulsive little Parisienne gave the 
handsome young Russian an extra gratuity, probably too large, for on 
receiving it he was actually moved to return thanks, which he did in these 
terms, in excellent French : " Madame est trop bonne ! " The expression 
which suddenly came into the face of that charming young Parisian actress 
was something to see ! 

At one of Rossini's parties, a lady who had been asked to sing allowed 
herself to be much pressed before consenting, but finally gave way, and 
said she would attempt an air from " Semiramide." Passing the maestro 
on her way to the piano, she whispered to him : " I'm so fearful of not 
doing justice to your divine music !" " What must / be ? " asked Rossini. 

54 THE THEATRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

There is one scene in " The Silver King" that causes such profound 
attention, and that contains some writing that has been so universally 
praised, that I am sure many of my readers will be obliged to me for being 
able to quote it for their guidance and enjoyment. We hear so much of 
an unliterary and unlovely drama, that it is only fair to pick out the plums 
when they do exist. The scene I quote is the one in which Wilfred Denver, 
banished from his wife and family, describes to his old faithful servant, 
Jaikes, the terrors of a conscience-haunted sleep. 

DENVER. Stay. I fell asleep. Jaikes, you don't know what a murderer's sleep is? It 
is the waking time of conscience ! It is the whipping-post she ties him to while she lashes 
and stings and maddens his poor helpless guilty soul ! Sleep ? It is a bed of spikes and 
horrors ! It is a precipice for him to roll over, sheer upon the jags and forks of memory ! 
It is a torchlight procession of devils raking out every infernal sewer and cranny of his 
brain ! It is ten thousand mirrors dangling round him to picture and repicture to him 
nothing but himself ! Sleep ! Oh God there is no hell but sleep ! 

JAIKES. Master Will ! My poor Master Will. 

DENVER. That's what my sleep has been these four years past. I fell asleep and I 
dreamed that we were over in Nevada, and we were seated on a throne, she and I, and 
all the people came to offer us their homage and loving obedience. And it was in a 
great hall of justice, and a man was brought before me charged with a crime ; and just as 
I opened my mouth to pronounce sentence upon him, Geoffrey Ware came up out of his 
grave with his eyes staring, staring, staring, as they stared at me on that night, and as they 
will stare at me till my dying day ; and he said " Come down ! Come down you whited 
sepulchre ! How dare you sit in that place to judge men ?" And he leapt up in his 
grave-clothes to the throne where I was, and seized me by the throat and dragged me clown, 
and we struggled and fought like wild beasts. We seemed to be fighting for years, and 
at last I mastered him, and held him down and throttled him, and rammed him tight into 
his grave again, and kept him there and wouldn't let him stir, and then I saw a hand 
coming out of the sky, a long bony hand with no flesh on it, and nails like eagle's claws, 
and it came slowly out of the sky reaching for miles it seemed : slowly, slowly it reached 
down to the very place where I was and it fastened in rny heart, and it took me and set 
rne in the justice hall in the prisoners' dock, and when I looked at my judge it was 
Geoffrey Ware ! And I cried out for mercy, but there was none ! And the hand gripped 
me again as a hawk grips a wren, and set me on the gallows, and I felt the plank fall 
from under my feet, and I droped, dropped, dropped, and I awoke ! 

JAIKES. For mercy's sake, Master Will, no more. 

DENVER. Then I knew that the dream was sent for a message to tell me that though 
I should fly to the uttermost ends of the earth, as high as the stars are above, or as deep 
as the deepest sea bed is below, there is no hiding-place for me, no rest, no hope, no 
shelter, no escape ! 

But there is one line in " The Silver King " even finer than that a line 
that everyone is quoting. The vision-haunted murderer in an agony of 
despair says : "Oh God, put back thy universe and give me yesterday !" 
What man has not thought that, but who has so expressed it before ? 

Our readers have taken such an interest in the flourishing and successful 
School of Dramatic Art, and so many pupils are entering their names at 7, 
Argyll Street, Regent Street, that I may be allowed to call attention to the 
fact that the second and most important term begins on January 3, 1883. 
This is by far the best term for pupils to join, as the instruction goes on 
without any break until August 18. The first public performance of the 
pupils will be a very interesting occasion. 

JAN. i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 55 

The Philothespian Club gave a most successful performance, on the gih 
inst, at St. George's Hall. The pieces represented were J. W. Robertson's 
"Ladies' Battle," and W. S. Gilbert's "Creatures of Impulse." In the 
former, Mrs. V. Sandford (Countess d'Autreval) made excellent use of the 
character assigned to her, as did also Mrs. Arthur Masters (Leonie). Of 
the gentlemen, Messrs. H. Stacke (Baron de Montrichard) and W. L. 
Halhvood rendered good service by the careful manner in which they per- 
formed their respective parts. Mr. W. S. Matthews was most amusing as 
the vacillating de Grignon, and Messrs. F. Upton, W. M. Waterton, and 
A. A. Wickens, satisfactorily made up the remaining portion of the cast. 
Gilbert's piece concluded the programme, and the members in this well, 
sustained their reputation. A topical duet by Mr. G. H. Phillips (Bom- 
blehardt) and Mr. H. Cox (Peter) was deservedly well received ; a graceful 
allusion to the public generosity, in the case of the Alhambra disaster, 
being loudly cheered. Another line or two, inserted with questionable 
taste, referring in very disrespectful terms to a most prominent member of 
the Cabinet was as coldly and, in some cases, objectionably received. The 
nightingale's song by Mrs. H. Cox (Pipette) won an enthusiastic encore 
which it well merited. Misses E. Rothsay and K. Erlam filled the parts of 
Martha and A Strange Old Lady respectively, and Mr. T. J. Lowe (Sergu 
Klooque) and Mr. C. H. Coffin (Jaques) acted in a highly creditable manner. 
The chorus also did very well, largely assisted by the pianist Mr. F. A. 
Broxholm. Mr. Cox is to be congratulated on his effective stage manage- 

" What author can be fairly judged by a play one-half of which is delibe- 
rately suppressed ?" asks Mr. W. S. Gilbert, and proceeds to argue that 
Shakspeare is not appreciated, and that "Hamlet" is not understood by 
the playgoing public, because the play is not acted precisely as written. 
This whimsical satirist has positively got it into his head, or, at any rate, 
pretends to believe, that, " if such an outrage were perpetrated on a play 
by Mr. Tom Taylor, it would be regarded as an insult to his memory !" 
There are various methods of ridding the stage of Shakspeare. Ridicule 
having failed, it having been proved nonsense to say that " Shakspeare 
could not write a play for the nineteenth century," the latest weathercock 
device is to excite the public to hoot the manager who does not court 
absolute failure by acting Shakspeare verbatim et literatim. Is there one 
single play that has held the stage for a hundred years that is now acted as 
written? Is " The School for Scandal?" Is "The Rivals?" Is "She 
Stoops to Conquer?" Can anyone single stage classic be quoted that is 
acted literally as written ? and who wants them to be so acted ? Is the 
stage to be deprived of Sheridan and Goldsmith in obedience to an im- 
practicable whim ? Don't add words, for goodness sake ; don't Cibberize or 
Garrickize ; don't attempt to " paint the lily or gild refined gold -" don't 
improve upon Shakspeare but why not take away, lop out, excise, re- 
arrange, and make practicable what would otherwise be lost to the stage ? 
I disagree with Mr. Gilbert toto ccelo. I hope that Mr. Henry Irving, with 
his reverential treatment and true appreciation of Shakspeare, will go on 

56 THE THEA TRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

giving us acting editions by the dozen, and producing more plays as beauti- 
fully, as sensibly, and as intelligently as he has done " Hamlet," " Merchant 
of Venice," "Romeo and Juliet," and "Much Ado About Nothing." 
There are stage editors and stage editors. 

Mr. Irving has done more to encourage the love of Shakspeare among 
the people than any actor who ever lived. Supposing it be true, as Mr. 
Gilbert hints, that no one knows anything about Shakspeare until they go 
to the theatre well, granted all that, having gone to the theatre, they 
surely take down the book and study the discarded lines whose omission 
is supposed to be such an "outrage," but if they did not see Shak- 
speare on the stage, they would probably never be induced to study 
the book. Mr. living's good work is before the world, and I really 
do not think that anyone desires to " tear up his benches " for his 
irreverence. On the contrary, I believe that there are hundreds and 
thousands of playgoers who would like to see Mr. Bancroft or Mr. Hare 
doing for comedy old English comedy exactly what Mr. Irving is doing 
for Shakspeare. There are volumes of good plays on our theatrical book- 
shelves absolutely lost to the stage for want of editing and rearrangement. 
Autres temps, autres mocurs, in plays as in everything else. No, no, my 
dear Mr. Gilbert, if authors, modern authors, clever authors, would only 
allow their plays to be altered more than they do, to be cut and trimmed 
more than they will, the stage and the public would be the gainers. Then 
we should have no " Promise of Mays." Not a play is ever acted that has 
not to be cut after it is produced. It is not cut before, because the author 
naturally loves his offspring. But I suppose this is only another joke by Mr. 
Gilbert a topsy-turvydom or criticism served up for the Illustrated Sporting 
and Dramatic News' Christmas number, which, I may here remark, is quite 
admirable. I like Christmas numbers that have a lot of short stories and 
sketches by clever men, and I would cordially recommend the instant perusal 
of the hunting story by the editor, Mr. Alfred E. T. Watson admirably 
told and the ghost story of Mr. Herbert Gardner, in excellent taste and 
style j and everyone should read, of course, Mr. Gilbert's " Unappreciated 
Shakspeare," but not be misled by it. 

On December 2, the Glow Worms' Amateur Dramatic Society gave a per- 
formance of a new adaptation of " On ne Badine pas avec 1'Amour," by 
Alfred de Musset, written by Mr. John Whitaker, jun., and entitled "Love 
Brooks no Jesting." For an amateur, the work was fairly done ; the prin- 
cipal faults being that it contained too many scenes, and an exuberance 
of dialogue. A long speech at the close of the first act was particularly 
noticeable and should be immediately cut down. It was, on the whole, 
efficiently acted, and the performance of Mr. A. Drinkwater was excellent. 

By-the-way, the article on " The Silver King" which recently appeared 
in the Pall Mall Gazette, was written by Mr. Matthew Arnold, under the 
signature of "An Old Playgoer." 

JAN. i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 57 

Mr. Hamilton Ai'de has written a neat and cleverly constructed little 
comedy, called " Cousins," which has been played on three occasions at Sir 
Percy Shelley's private Theatre, in Tite-street, Chelsea, for the benefit of 
the School for Dramatic Art. It is a play of manners and conversation 
rather than of action, and the necessary spin that such a dramatic top 
requires was given it by Mrs. Cecil Clay, whose loss to the regular stage in 
pure comedy is very great. She acted with remarkable finish and intelli- 
gence, and with an irresistible sparkle so seldom found now-a-days. Mrs. 
Keeley, Mrs. John Wood, Mrs. Arthur Stirling, and Miss Genevieve Ward 
were in the audience, and were delighted. The performance on the whole 
was far better than is usually found with amateurs. Miss Mary Boyle is a 
born comic actress, and Mr. Claude Ponsonby one of the best young light 
comedians I have seen on the amateur stage for some time. Sir Percy 
Shelley has received notice of an information laid against him for allowing 
a performance in his theatre for which money was, in the words of the Act, 
" directly or indirectly taken." So there will be an end of all charity 
performances at private houses for the future. 

Frances Maria Kelly, who has long outlived her generation of art, has 
passed away, in her quiet little home at Feltham, before she could enjoy 
the grant of money generously placed at her disposal by the Prime 
Minister. The gifted lady, who lived to the extraordinary age of 93, was 
solaced in her last hours by the affectionate attention of Mr. Henry Irving 
and Mr. J. L. Toole, who visited her on more than one occasion, and of 
Mr. Charles Kent, the genial gentleman and graceful poet, who was the 
friend and oft companion of Charles Dickens. To the last the good old 
soul conversed of her friendship with Munden, Liston, Edmund Kean, and 
many more, and gave to each one of the friends I have mentioned some 
little memento of the actors of the past, coupled with affectionate words 
they are not likely to forget. Miss Kelly was born at Brighton on 151!! 
December, 1790; she died within a few days of her birthday in 1882. 
Her father was an officer in the army, and brother to Michael Kelly, under 
whom she studied music and singing. Miss Kelly made her first appear- 
ance on the boards of a theatre at a very early age as a member of the 
chorus at Drury Lane. Her debut as an actress was at Glasgow in 1807. 
In 1808 she was a member of Mr. Colman's company at the Haymarket. 
Subsequently she appeared at the English Opera House under Mr. Arnold's 
management. She earned many laurels as a singer, succeeding to several 
of the characters which had been filled by Madame Storace. From the 
English Opera House she went to Drury Lane. Whilst performing at that 
theatre she was fired at by a lunatic in the pit, when a scene of extraor- 
dinary excitement ensued. The man was subsequently tried for the 
murderous attempt, but acquitted on the ground of insanity. A similar 
attempt was afterwards made upon her life in Dublin, fortunately with no 
greater success. Miss Kelly was an actress of great versatility and talent. 
She was successful in the comedy parts filled by Mrs. Jordan, and still 
more in domestic melodrama. Hazlitt says of Miss Kelly : " In the 

58 THE THEATRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

roundness of her limbs, the ease and grace of her motions, and the entire 
absence of anything sharp or angular in her form, she resembles Miss 
O'Neill, like whom she is formed to succeed best in characters where 
passion and suffering have taken possession of the soul." Her singing 
reminded Hazlitt of Miss Stephens. She built the Royalty Theatre, in 
Dean Street, Soho, long known as Miss Kelly's Theatre, but derived nothing 
from her enterprise. 

There is an admirable account in the World 'of " Fedora," the newSardou 
play in which Sara Bernhardt appears to have made such a triumph. The 
plot is clearly and succinctly stated, and the whole excitement of the drama 
put boldly before the eyes. I no doubt we shall see " Fedora" in 
London sooner or later. Indeed I know for certain that Mr. Bancroft has 
bought the English acting right. But who is to play Fedora ? The part 
appears to require a tragic actress of immense power. Before the next 
number of THE THEATRE is published, I hope to have seen the play, 
when I shall have something to say about it. 


A Love Song. 
THREE days of love, and only three, 

Were ours to squander or forget. 
The first we lived it by the sea, 

With lips athirst, and eyelids wet : 
Along the sand, across the foam, 

We wandered forth one sunny morn : 
Dear Heart ! can you forget the home 

Where once our happy love was born ? 

We floated next adown the stream, 

And there we kissed have you forgot ? 
'Twas then we first began to dream, 

And keep the blue forget-me-not. 
The river whispered to the rhyme 

I made that summer day for you : 
Dear Heart ! can you forget the time 

When first our love to passion grew ? 

'Twas music next that came one day, 

Our love and deathless time between. 
We sat and heard the organ play 

In church forgetting what had been. 
Then we were silent, you and I, 

The past by melody forgiven : 
Sweet Heart ! our love it did not die, 

But went on angels' wings to Heaven ! 
December, 1882. C. S. 

JAN. i, ,883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 59 

The second performance of the season was given by " The Roscius'' 
Dramatic Club, on Tuesday evening, December 12, the programme con- 
sisting of J. Maddison Morton's farce, "Aunt Charlotte's Maid," and 
Bucks-tone's comedy, " Married Life." In the farce, many of the situations 
in which bear a strong family resemblance to those in " Betsy," Mr. Percy 
F. Marshall impersonated Horatio Thomas Sparkins with abundant fun 
and spirit, and as he was admirably played-up-to by Miss Rosina Stanley 
as Matilda Jones (by-the-way, is not an extra-voluminous crinolette or 
tour mire rather out of place on a domestic?) the little piece went very 
brightly, and elicited continuous shouts of laughter from a large audience ; 
and as laughter is the principal end and aim of pieces of this class, the 
rendering was a distinct success. Mr. Henry S. Ram was very funny as 
Major Volley, and made a good deal out of a comparatively small part. 
Pivot (a lawyer), Fanny Volley, and Mrs. Puddifoot were respectively 
represented by Mr. L. Bertram (who looked singularly and unnecessarily 
lugubrious), Miss Kate Graves and Miss Nelly Wilmott. In " Married 
Life" t/e honours were pretty equally divided between Miss Kate 
Erlam as Mrs. Lynx and Mr. John Denby as Coddle. The former 
gave a graceful and sympathetic impersonation decidedly above the 
average amateur standard, and the latter was irresistibly droll in his 
combined fears of draughts and a prosecution for bigamy. Mr. S. E. 
Forster was satisfactory as Lionel Lynx, but seemed unable to divest 
himself of a peculiar pump-handle-like movement of the arms which he 
would do well to avoid. The rest of the parts were distributed among 
Miss Lottie Roberts, Miss Laura Graves, Mrs. C. Bayley, Miss Nelly 
Wilmott, and Messrs. Arthur Snow, E. Gordon-Taylor, and Conyers Norton. 
The company generally were in more or less need of the services of the 
prompter, but the last-named gentleman, for whom an apology was con- 
sidered necessary, was frequently hopelessly at sea and supplied the short- 
comings of his memory by u gag" which was not always conspicuous for its 
refinement or good taste. As an inevitable consequence the piece dragged 
here and there, and revealed throughout a want of careful rehearsal 
which is the greater pity as the club has shown itself capable of more 
careful work. The musical arrangements deserve high praise. Miss Rose 
Dorell again presided at the pianoforte, which was on this occasion reinforced 
by a violin (Mr. S. E. Still), and cornet (Colonel Williams), the two playing 
a good and varied selection of music with taste and effect. The next 
performance is announced to take place on January 23. 

At intervals during the past six weeks a " wonderful boy " has been 
giving recitals, mainly from Shakespeare, at the New Room, St. James's 
Hall. The young gentleman, John Colbourne Trinder, who is but fourteen 
years old, is gifted with an extraordinary memory, he renders the whole of 
" Hamlet," Othello," and " The Lady of Lyons," without book or 
prompting, and with marked intelligence, combined with evidences of 
careful elocutionary teaching under a competent master. Mr. Edwin 
Drew conducted the management of the recitals. 

60 THE THE A TRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

Mr. Edwin Drew, who appears to be prospecting in elocutionary fields 
with good results, introduced another aspirant for laurels in Mr. Harding 
Thomas, who made his first appearance at St. James's Hall on Saturday 
afternoon, December 9. Although the programme, which consisted of 
" The Bells," " The Uncle," " Love and Oysters," &c. &c., was, by reason 
of its familiar items, calculated to challenge comparisons, Mr. Thomas 
pleased his audience and won recognition for his intelligent appreciation 
of both comedy and tragedy, his able elocution, and his command of facial 
expression. Mr. Thomas, I am told, recently gained the first prize for 
elocution at that prolific school of cleverness, the Birkbeck Institution. 

A performance highly successful, dramatically speaking, but, owing to the 
inclement weather, limitedly so in the attendance drawn, was given under 
the direction of Mr. Arthur Wood, on Thursday, December 17, at the 
New Cross Public Hall. " Cut off with a Shilling," was pleasantly rattled 
through by Mr. Knight as Sam, Mr. Gerardot as the Colonel, and Miss 
Claremont, who played with marked intelligence and spirit, as Mrs. Gay- 
thorne. "The Snowball" followed, and was received with continued 
laughter and applause to the fall of the curtain. As Mr. and Mrs. Feather- 
stone, Mr. W.H. Vernon and Miss Swanborough were seen to the best advan- 
age, their performances being admirable. Mr. Arthur Wood played Uncle 
John with dry and most effective humour. Mr. Knight was a capable 
Harry Prendergast. Mrs. A. Wood played Penelope, and made every point 
in that highly amusing character, and Miss Claremont looked Ethel, and 
acted what little she had to do in the part, to perfection. 

Amongst the novelties, excitements and new plays that are springing up 
around us we most not forget that London is just now being enlivened by 
the brightest, most droll and popular of comedians. Mr. John S. Clarke 
is at the Strand Theatre making the public roar with laughter in the " Heir 
at Law." No words of mine are needed to emphasize the merit of his 
Dr. Pangloss the concentrated essence of drollery. By the time that these 
lines are in print Mr. John S. Clarke will have appeared in an old play by 
Tom Taylor re-named "Eloped; or, Babes and Beetles." This will be 
the Christmas dish at the Strand. 

And another roar of laughter comes from the other side of the way, for 
Mr. Edward Terry has come home again to the Gaiety after the most 
successful tour in the country he has ever had. The Gaiety brigade 
received their favourite with all honours, and now the " merry family" is com- 
plete once more, and what a merry family it is : burlesque as good as in the 
old days of long ago, when constant companionship of clever people seems 
to start humour into life. No one who understands how to enjoy Christmas 
will pass by the Gaiety where Mr. Terry, Miss Farren and Miss Kate 
Vaughan are laughing and chaffing together. It is a cure for the most 
aggravated form of dyspepsia. 

JAN. i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 6 1 

That quaint, old-fashioned house at Richmond Her Majesty's 
Theatre has been the birth-place of a large number of new pieces of 
more or less merit. On Monday last, December n, there was produced a 
new and. original domestic drama in three acts entitled " For Love's Sake," 
written by Mr. L. E. B. Stephens, his maiden effort in this direction, as he 
has only hitherto attempted farces, one of which, " Perichon," proved some- 
what successful. The piece now noticed was produced under the direction 
of the author, who took a part, nnd Mr. J. Russell, the lessee of the theatre, 
the latter gentleman undertaking the character of Philip Hallworth, a 
dissipated woodman, in which he worked hard and effectively. Mr. Edward 
Neville, as James Ashwood, a gamekeeper, with the assistance of a very fine 
voice, made the most of his part ; Mr. Stephens, as Samuel TremJett, a 
lawyer, did the little he had to do well, and Mr. A. Hickox made a praise- 
worthy effort to be funny as Michael Marsden, a bailiff. Miss Lottie 
Russell, Marsden's sweetheart ; Miss Ada Vincent, Hallworth's wife j and 
Miss Rosie Swain did what they could with their parts, but, unfortunately 
for them, there was very little scope for the ladies. The piece, which has 
the no small merit of being short, contains in the plot and dialogue some 
original ideas, and, with a little judicious alteration, may prove successful. 

Edinburgh has always been a celebrated theatrical city, and a well-known 
test-place for good acting. The ambitious artist has ever had to dread 
the censure and to value the praise of modern Athens. But playgoers of 
Edinburgh, and visitors as well, will regret to hear that the Theatre Royal 
passes out of the hands of Mr. J. B. Howard one so well known and so 
appreciated in London. Mr. Howard offered a rent of ,2,000, and this 
was accompanied by a letter from Mr. Henry Irving, offering 1,000 a year 
security during the currency of Mr. Howard's lease ; but the choice of the 
shareholders fell on Messrs. Logan and Hislop. Mr. Hislop has been for 
some time past manager of the Gaiety Theatre, Glasgow. 

When Rachel, already admitted to the Conservatoire, went to ask Provost 
to give her special lessons in declamation, the teacher replied : " Go into 
the streets and sell bouquets, my child." It need hardly be said that the 
future tragedienne retired with a heavy heart. One evening, after she had 
played Hermione, in which she had been applauded with enthusiasm and 
recalled with frenzy, she filled her Greek tunic with flowers thrown to her 
upon the stage, and then kneeling before him who had advised her to earn 
her living by selling bouquets, she said, with graceful coquetry : " I have 
followed your advice, M. Provost ; I sell bouquets. Will you buy any of 

" The Silver King " at the Princess's Theatre is such a success' that it 
will, in all probability, keep its place in the bills for months yet to come. 
But a theatrical manager needs must look well forward in these days of 
rapid advance, and so Mr. Wilson Barrett has in hand a new play by Mr. 
Herman Merivale and Mr. Hawley Smart, which is to be his next venture. 

62 THE THE A TRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

During the past few weeks, that well-known and much-appreciated 
American humourist and entertainer, Mr. Frank Lincoln, has been amusing 
and instructing large audiences at the Egyptian Hall with his peculiarly 
witty discourses. He has been lately assisted by Miss G. H. Gleason, 
Miss Amy Sargent and Mr. Arthur Fagge, and also by the so-called 
" greatest living violinist in the world," Paganini Redivivus, whose 
beautiful solos have been exceedingly well received. 

Everyone will be delighted to hear of the distinguished and emphatic 
success of Charles Wyndham in America. He opened with his company 
in "' Fourteen Days," and this has been followed up by " Brighton," and all 
New York is crowding to see as good an actor in his line as England can 
turn out. There is but one opinion about Charles Wyndham in the innu- 
merable notices I have read. He is considered there what we have for 
years considered him a first-rate comedian. Next to Mr. Wyndham, the 
popular favourites of the company appear to be Mr. William Blakeley, with 
his curious, suave, and comical manner ; and both Miss Rose Saker and 
Miss Florence Chalgrove, the pretty Irish girl who played in " Taken from 
Life" at the Adelphi. She is described as "a sparkling beauty of a dis- 
tinctly Irish type, whose splendour of health and cheerfulness, combined 
with exact professional discretion as to the harmony of the picture, made 
her presence delightful." But one dramatic critic is extremely ungallant 
to the ladies. He says : " There is only one thing in the performance that 
could be advantageously cut, and that is the stay-laces. English women 
are far too fond of the corset." 

Manager Dormeine pere gave a parting dinner to his company, and 
towards the end of the dessert Brasseur said to Lheritier : " I'll lay you a 
wager that I'll disguise myself so completely that nobody here shall be able 
to recognize me not even you ;" on which he slipped out of the room. 
Five minutes later coffee was served. The waiter who poured it out a big 
young fellow, with black whiskers, thick eyebrows, crispy curling hair, and 
the bronzed complexion of a Southerner flurried no doubt by the quality 
of the assembled guests, committed clumsiness on clumsiness, upsetting a 
liqueur-glass here, a cup there, and finished by sending a great splash of 
scalding Mocca on to the shirt-front of the amphitryon. A storm of repro- 
bation was raised. "Donkey! Imbecile! Cretin!" "Can't you mind 
what you are about ?" "Blunderhead! Brute! Oyster!" The unfortu- 
nate waiter excused himself as well as he could, with a strong Marseillais 
accent. The incident was forgotten, and conversation resumed. But after 
a few minutes, as if not knowing what he was doing, the offender took up a 
lump of sugar between his finger and thumb, and dipped it in Lheritier's cup 
of coffee. The latter sprang to his feet enraged, seized the insolent waiter 
by the collar, and pushed him towards the door. But, with the turn of a 
hand, the other whipped off his wig and whiskers, and cried : " Sold old 
comrade ! Admit that you have lost the wager !" 

JAN. i, 1883.1 OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 63 

Bis dat qui cito dat. No one should sit down to a Christmas dinner 
without sending a trifle to the fund for the distressed employes deprived 
of work on account of the disastrous fire at the Alhambra Theatre. Now 
here is a practical suggestion. Suppose everyone who goes to the play 
were to send only one shilling, what a tremendous fund would be amassed. 
Every playgoer can surely spare a shilling ? 

On Monday, December 4, the annual competition for the Elocutionary 
Championship of Portsmouth was held in the Lecture Hall. The judges 
were five in number, and, as the result, Mr. J. Robertson was for the fourth 
time declared the winner of the Gold Medal. His recitation, which met 
with much favour, was a poem published in the August number of The 
Theatre, called " Coming Home," by Alfred Berlyn. 

Theodore Barriere was once present at the first representation of a 
new five-act comedy, which proved a frightful failure, meeting without the 
smallest mark of approval. After the fourth act Barriere left the theatre, 
and under the portico he met one of his friends. " Are you going away ?" 
the latter asked. " Yes." " Why ?" " My dear fellow," replied Barriere, 
" I never go all the way to a funeral." 

As announced last month, Captain Evatt Acklom continued his series of 
afternoon readings and recitations at the Steinway Hall on the 22nd and 
2pth November. On the former date selections were given from J. S. Le 
Fanu, Tennyson, and Wilkie Collins, and on the 2Qth from Dickens, 
Shakespeare, Sheridan, and Macklin's " Man of the World." The 
Captain was ably assisted in his very successful entertainment by Miss 
Agnes Thorndike and Mdlle. Adele Faux. 

The tenth performance of the Nelson Amateur Dramatic Club was 
given on the i8th November, in aid of the funds of the Linen and 
Woollen Drapers Association, at the St. George's Hall. " Twenty minutes 
under an Umbrella" and "Two Roses" were given successfully. In the 
comedietta Mr. R. J. Thomas played Frank with finish and ease, and Miss 
Emma Ritta was a charming Kate. Mr. Albery's comedy is so effective 
that it requires but moderate representation to ensure its success ; in this 
instance, however, its treatment by the Nelson Club left little to be desired 
from the non-professional point of view. Mr. R. J. Thomas was a frank 
and manly Jack Wyatt, Mr. Geo. H. Cook a well-elaborated Digby Grant, 
Mr. T. H. Turner a quietly pathetic Caleb Deecie. The humour of " Our 
Mr. Jenkins" was fully elicited by Mr. George Oliver, and the same 
approval was deserved by Mr. J. H. Walker in the part of Furnival the 
Solicitor. Miss Emma Ritta made a bright and winning Lottie, Miss 
Ellen Molyneux a capital foil as Ida, Miss Bessie Walters a very good 
Mrs. Jenkins, and Miss Reynolds all that could be desired as Mrs. Cupps. 

64 THE THEATRE. QAX. i, 1883. 

This song will be sung by Miss Fannie Leslie in the Christmas panto- 
mime at the Grand Theatre, at Leeds : 


A Patriotic Song. 

RUN up the Flag ! my sailor lads, above the gallant mast ! 
Deck out your British ironclads ! and hold the anchor fast ! 
The war is over ! here's three cheers for men who fought so well ! 
But mingle them with honest tears for such as fought but fell ! 
Once more upon the deck you stood, and cleared it for the fight : 
Not Nelson, no, nor Collingwood, ere saw a braver sight. 
No matter whose the glory, no matter whose the fame, 
You'll raise your hats, my British tars, at Beauchamp Seymours name ; 
You're praised by English beauty and Englishmen will tell 
You went to do your duty ; and, my lads, you did it well ! 
So three cheers for the Navy, 

Let your valour never lag ; 
And one cheer more for England 

Run up ! Run up ! the Flag ! 

Run up the Flag ! my soldier boys, above the barrack square, 

For victory has fallen to those who "do and dare." 

For now the w r ar is over, and you've left the desert land, 

We'll let you live in clover and can shake you by the hand ; 

You shall tell, when you have rested, of the enemy at bay, 

When you charged the foe at midnight, and you won at break of day ; 

The cavalry did bravely, boys, by Lowe and Russell led, 

But the army that took Egypt had Sir Garnet at its head ; 

Let them sneer, my gallant fellows, let them try your fame to crush, 

You went to win for England, and you did it with a rush ! 

So three cheers for the Army, 
Let your valour never lag ; 

And one cheer more for England 
Run up ! Run up ! the Flag ! 

Run up the Flag ! old England, above your wooden walls, 

For you've brave sons to answer when the voice of duty calls ; 

No matter where they wander, no matter where they roam, 

The fame they still remember of their little island home. 

Go search the world wide over who something find amiss, 

You never will discover a land more free than this ! 

So down with agitation that pulls the country down, 

The stalwart British nation stands on People and the Crown ! 

On Freedom and the People, the country stands or falls, 

And they will keep their Army ! and will guard our wooden walls ! 

So three cheers for old England, 
Let her valour never lag ; 

And one cheer more for Queen and Prince- 
Run up ! Run up ! the Flag ! 

C. S. 

JAN. i, 1883.] NE W PLA YS. 65 

New Plays 

- From Nov. 1881 to Dec. 1882. 

DECEMBER, 1881. 

5th." Under the Mistletoe," Comedy-Drama in a Prologue and Five 

Tableaux, by Molyneux St. John and R. Mounteney Jephson. 

Imperial (Afternoon). 
1 5th. "Foggerty's Fairy," Fairy Comedy in Three Acts, by W. S. Gilbert. 

24th. "Aladdin," Burlesque-Drama in Three Acts, by Robert Reece. 

26th. " Macfarlane's Will," Pantomime Vaudeville in Three Acts, by 

Joseph Mackay and Henri August. Imperial (Afternoon). 
26th. "The Fisherman's Daughter," Comedy-Drama in Two Acts, by 

Charles Garvice. Royalty. 
26th. " Pluto ; or, Little Orpheus and His Lute," Burlesque, by Henry J. 

Byron. Royalty. 

29th. "The Squire," Play in Three Acts, by A. W. Pinero. St. James's. 
3 1 st. "Taken from Life," Drama in Five Acts, by Henry Pettitt. 


JANUARY, 1882. 

2nd. "The Rustic Maiden," Drama in Two Acts, by G. L.Gordon. 


i4th. "The Cynic," Comedy in Four Acts, by Herman Merivale. Globe. 
26th. " A Bed of Roses," Comedietta in One Act, by Henry A. Jones. 

28th. " London Pride," Drama in Four Acts, by G.L. Gordon and Joseph 

Mackay. Philharmonic. 


2nd." The Marble Arch," Comedietta in One Act, by Edward Rose and 
Miss Agnes J. Garroway. Prince of Wales' s (First produced at 
the Prince of Wales' s, Liverpool, December i2th, 1881.) 

4th. "On an Island," Comedietta in One Act, byj. Wilton Jones. Vaude- 
ville. (First produced at the Theatre Royal, Bradford, March 
8th, 1879.) 

nth. " Manola," Comic Opera in Three Acts, adapted from the French 
by H. B. Farnie ; music by Charles Lecocq. Strand. 

i3th. " Love's Revenge," Sensational Drama in Three Acts, by W. E. 
Morton. Theatre Royal, Portsmouth. 

1 5th. "My Little Girl," Comedietta in One Act, adapted from W. Besant 
and Rice's novel of the same name, by Dion G. Boucicault. 

66 THE THEATRE. [JAN. i, 1883.- 

1 5th. "The Manager," Farcical Play in Three Acts, founded on " Le 

Mari de la Debutante," by F. C. Burnand. Court. 
1 6th. " Destiny," Play in Three Acts, by W. F. Lyon, Globe (Afternoon). 

(First produced at Her Majesty's, Richmond, November i4th, 

iSth. U A Storm in a Tea-Cup," Operetta in One Act, by Mrs. F. Corder, 

music by F. Corder. Brighton Aquarium (Afternoon). (See 

March 22nd.) 
20th. "Jack the Giant Killer/' Burlesque, by J. Tully. Theatre Royal, 

North Shields. 
23rd. " Now-a-Days," Comedy in Three Acts, by Walter S. Craven. 

Theatre Royal, Croydon. 
27th." Far From the Madding Crowd," Pastoral Drama in Three Acts, 

by Thomas Hardy and J. Comyns Carr. Prince of Wales's, 

Liverpool. (See April 29th.) 
27th. " Two Wedding Rings," Domestic Drama in Five Acts, by G. Somers 

Bellamy and Fred. Romer. Britannia. 
27th." Cast Adrift," Drama in Four Acts, by R. Palgrave. New Theatre 

Royal, Bristol. (See April loth.) 
27th. "Heiress Hunting," Comedy in Three Acts, by Edward Bucknall. 

Her Majesty's, Richmond. 


4th. " Fourteen Days," Farcical Comedy in Three Acts, adapted fronr 

"Un Voyage d'Agrement" of Gondinet and Bisson, by Henry 

J. Byron. Criterion. 
4th. <; The Crocodile ; or, Accused of Murder," Comedy-Drama in 

Three Acts, by W. Lowe. Theatre Royal, Cardiff. 
6th. " Oh ! Those Girls," Musical Comedy in One Act, adapted from 

the German, by Robert Soutar ; music by W. Meyer Liitz. Gaiety. 
6th. " Medusa," Comedietta in One Act, by Fred. W. Hays. St. 


Ilt h. Dark Deeds," Drama in -Four Acts, by May Holt (Mrs. R. Fair- 
burn). Adapted from Miss Braddon's novel, " The Trail of the 

Serpent." Philharmonic. 

1 3th. " Auntie," Farcical Play in Three Acts, by Henry J. Byron. Toole's. 
!6th. " The Queen of Diamonds," Comedy-Drama in Three Acts, by 

Miss Annie Brunton. Princess's, Edinburgh. 
iSth. "Vulcan; or, the (H)ammerous Blacksmith," Burlesque in Four 

Scenes, by Edward Rose and Augustus Harris. Opera Comiqtie. 
jgth. "Madcap Violet," Comedy- Drama, in Four Acts, adapted by Miss 

Ella Strathmore from Win. Black's Novel of the same name. 

Sadler's Wells. 
20 th. " Broken Links," Comedy-Drama in Four Acts, by Henry Holmes. 

Her Majesty's, Richmond. 
22nd. "A Storm in a Tea Cup," produced for the first time in London 

at the Gaiety (Afternoon). (See February iStli.) 

JAN .1, 1883.] NE W PLA VS. 67 

25th. " Moths," Play in Four Acts, by H. Hamilton, taken from Ouida's 

novel of the same name. Globe. 

-25th. " Kevin's Choice," Operetta in Two Acts, composed by T. A. 
Wallworth. Adelphi (Afternoon). 

25th. " Out at Elbows," Comedietta in One Act, by Aylmer H. Dove. 
Tootts (Afternoon). 

27th. " Humanity ; or, A Passage in the Life of Grace Darling," a Sen- 
sational Drama in Four Acts, by Hugh Marston and Leonard 
Raie. Theatre Royal, Leicester. (See April xoth.) 


3rd. " The Trump Card," Drama in Five Acts, by F. W. Broughton and 

J. Wilton Jones. Grand, Leeds. 

6th. " A Link o' Gold," Drama in Three Acts, by George Capel. Alex- 
andra, Sheffield. 
^th. " Lucy Brandon," Romantic Drama in Five Acts, by Robert 

Buchanan. Imperial (Afternoon). 
8th. " The Shadow of the Sword," Romantic Drama in Five Acts, by 

Robert Buchanan. Olympic. (First produced at the Theatre 

Royal, Brighton, May 9th, 1881.) 

8th. "The Parvenu," Comedy in Three Acts, by G. W. Godfrey. Court. 
8th. " Cast Adrift," produced for the first time in London at Sadler's 

Wells. (See February 2yth.) 
8th. "Night Birds," Drama in Four Acts, by Joseph Mackay and G. L. 

Gordon. Philharmonic. 
ioth. "Not Registered," Domestic Drama in Two Acts, by Arthur 

Matthison. Royalty. 

ioth. " Sindbad," Burlesque in Five Scenes, by Frank W. Green. Royalty. 
loth. "Humanity," produced for the first time in London at the Standard. 

(See March 27th.) 
ioth. "Ye Ladye of Lyons," Burlesque by Afred Lewis-Clifton. 

Aquarium T/ieatre, Yarmouth. 
I5th. " The Kingmaker," Historical Drama in Four Acts, by J. W. 

Boulding. Adelphi (Afternoon). 
1 5th. "A Shadow Sceptre," Historical Drama in Four Acts, by H. 

Hamilton. Prince's, Manchester. 
j 7th. " The First Breeze," Comedietta in One Act, by George Somers 

Bellamy and Frank Romer. Theatre Royal, Brighton. 
iyth. "The Chiltern Hundreds," Comedy-Opera in One Act, written by 

T. Edgar Pemberton, composed by T. Anderton. Alexandra, 

1 7th. " Branded for Life; or, the Rightful Heir," Drama in Four Acts 

by Hal Collier. Theatre Royal, Blyth. 
1 7th. " A Little Physical Muddle; or, Paul Puzzle Thatch's Holiday," 

Operetta, by Hugh Moss, music by Beckett Carlton. Public 

Hall, Reigate. 
3ist. " Won by Honours," Comedy-Drama in Four Acts, by Miss Annie 

Brunton. Theatre Royal, Brighton. (See July 1 2th.) 

68 THE THE A TRE. [JAN. i, 1883, 

22nd. " Long Ago," Drama in One Act, by Arthur A'Beckett. Royalty 

22iid. "Boccaccio," Comic Opera in Three Acts, English version by 
Robert Reece and H. B. Farnie ; music by Franz von Suppe. 

25th. " Odette," Play in Four Acts, by Victorien Sardou. Haymarket. 

25th. " The Revolutionist/' Drama in One Act, by Percy F. Montague. 
Bideford Public Rooms. (See June 29th.) 

26th. " Merry Mignon ; or, The Beauty and the Beast," Operatic Extra- 
vaganza, by J. Wilton Jones. Court, Liverpool. 

26th. "A Simple Sweep," Musical Absurdetta in One Act, by F. W. 
Broughton and Rev. James F. Downes. Princess's. (First 
produced at the Leeds Victoria Hall, January 25th, 1882.) 

28th. "A Rift in the Cloud," Comedy-Drama in Two Acts, by George 
Romer. Winter Gardens, Blackpool. 

29th. " Lord Bateman ; or, Picotee's Pledge," Comic Opera in Two Acts, 
by H. P. Stephens and Edward Solomon. Gaiety (Afternoon). 

29th. " Far from the Madding Crowd " produced for the first time in 
London at the Globe. (See February 27th.) 


ist. " What's the Odds?" Comedy in Three Acts, by J. Wilton Jones. 

Theatre Royal, Bolton. 

3rd. " Love's Anguish," Play in Five Acts, adapted from " Serge Panine" 

of Georges Ohnet, by Oscar H. Schou. Adelphi (Afternoon). 

3rd. " The Wicklow Rose," Irish Comic Opera in Three Acts, by Robert 

Reece ; music by G. B. Allen. Prince's, Manchester. 
4th. " Blindfold," Comedietta in One Act, adapted from the French by 

R. Soutar. Gaiety (Afternoon). 
4th." Foiled/' Comedy in Three Acts, by H. W. Williamson. Theatre 

Royal, Portsmouth. 
6th. " Reparation ; or, A Loyal Love," Drama in Three Acts, by Arthur 

Shirley. New Cross Public Hall. 
8th. "Jack and Jill," Comedy-Drama in One Act. Translated from the 

French. Britannia. 

1 5th. "The Latchkey," Farce by Leopold Wagner. Sadler's Wells. 
1 5th. " Innocents Abroad ; or, Going over to Rome/' Operetta in One 
Act, by J. F. McArdle ; music by W. Jude. Bijou Opera 
House, Liverpool. 
i6th. "Reparation," Play in Five Acts, adapted from the German of 

Mosenthal. Gaiety (Afternoon). 
igth. "Above Suspicion," Drama in Three Acts, by G. Capel. Theatre 

Royal, York. 

soth. "First in the Field," Comedietta in One Act, adapted from "Su- 
zanne" of Henri Meilhac andLudovic Halevy,by Charles Marsham 
Rae. Produced for the first time in London at the Globe 
(First produced at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, May Qth 

[AN. I, 1883.] 



22 nd. "Cupid in Camp," Comic Drama in Two Acts, adapted from the 

French, by G. S. Vernon. Criterion. 
27th. " After Darkness Dawn," Domestic Drama in One Act, adapted 

from the French, by Aglen A. Dowty. Tootts (Afternoon). 
27th. "Wreck of the Pinafore," Comic Opera in Two Acts, by H. Lin- 

gard ; music by Luscombe Searelle. Opera Comigue. 
27th. "The Dark Deeds o' London," Drama, by Edward Towers, 

2Qth. " Very Suspicious ; or, Murder Will Out," Comedietta in One Act. 

by Thos. H. Hardman, taken from the Belgian of M. Hendricks, 

Theatre Royal, Leeds. 


ist. "Single Heart and Double Face," Drama by Charles Reade. Prin- 
cess* s^ Edinburgh. 
3rd. "Simpson and Delilah," Comedietta in One Act, by Sutherland 

Edwards. Avenue. 

3rd. " Manteaux Noirs," Comic Opera in Three Acts, adapted from the 
French of Scribe, by W. Parke and Harry Paulton ; music by 
Bucalossi. Avenue. 

5th." The Villainous Squire and the Village Rose," ' Bucolic Pastoral 7 
in One Act, by Henry J. Byron; music by J. Fitzgerald. 
5th. " Nobody's Fault," Comedietta in One Act, by Arthur Law ; music 

by Hamilton Clarke. St. George's Hall. 
5th. " Major Baggs," Farcical Comedy in Three Acts, by Arthur Lloyd, 

loth. "The Romany Rye," Drama in Five Acts, by George R. Sims. 

i4th." Fibs," Farcical Play in Three Acts, by Welborn Tylar. Toole's 

1 6th. " Conspiracy," Play in Four Acts, by G. L. Gordon. Prince of 

Wales's, Liverpool. 
1 7th. "The Double Rose," Historical Play in Five Acts, by J. W. Bould 

ing. Adelphi (Afternoon), 
ipth. "Perichon," Farce in One Act, by L. E. B. Stephens. Her 

Majesty's, Richmond. 

iQth. " The Mulberry Bush," produced at Brighton. (See September 2nd.) 
29th. " The Revolutionist," first acted in London at Sf. George's Hall. 
(See April 25th.) 


7th. Light," Drama in Three Acts, by E. Romaine Callender. Theatre 

Royal, Sheffield. 
1 2th. "Won by Honours," produced for the first time in London at the 

Comedy (Afternoon). (See April 21 st.) 
i2th. "Luggage per Rail," Farce in One Act, by J. Russell. Her 

Majesty's, Richmond. 

70 THE THEATRE. QAN. i, 1883. 

1 3th. "A Bad Penny," Drama in One Act, by W. Lestocq. Vaudeville 

13th. "Gammon," Comedy in Three Acts, adapted from "La Poudre 
aux Yeux " of Labiche and Martin, by James Mortimer. Vaude- 
ville (Afternoon). 

1 7th. "Men and Women," Sensational Drama in Six Tableaux, by May- 
Holt (Mrs. R. Fairburn). Surrey. 

2i st. " The Zulu Chief," Farce by Wm. Lowe. Theatre Royal, Paisley. 

22nd. "The Vicar of Bray," Comic Opera in Two Acts, by Sydney 
Grundy and Edward Solomon. Globe. 

24th. "My Brave Little Wife," Comedy-Drama in One Act, by A. M. 
Seaton. Tootis. 

24th. " Merely Players," Drama in One Act, by Edward Rose. Prince of 

,24th. " Guilty; or Not Guilty," Sensational Drama in Three Acts, by 
Charles F. Hilder. Grecian. 

24th. " Fighting Fortune," Drama in Four Acts, by F. A. Scudamore, 
produced for the first time in London at the Marylebone. (First 
produced at Theatre Royal, Bolton, May Qth, 1881.) 

24th. " The Captain of the Guard," Comedy Opera in Two Acts, trans- 
lated from the French, and music by George Fox, lyrics by 
Frederick Wood. Theatre Royal, Margate. 

27th. "Law, not Justice," Drama in Four Acts, by A. C. Calmour. 

28th. " Artful Little Spouser," Farce in One Act, by Charles L. Carson 
and Maurice Comerford. Alhambra, Barrow-in-Furness. 

28th." Mick M'Quaid," Comedy-Drama by Charles Eustace. Theatre 
Royal, Wexford. 

3 1 st. "Unknown; a River Mystery," Drama in Five Acts, by John A. 

Stevens, produced for the first time in England at the Surrey. 
3 1 st. " A Wise Child," Comedy in Three Acts, adapted from the French, 
by George R. Sims. Prince of Wales' s, Liverpool. 

3rd. " The Wages of Sin," Drama in Five Acts, by Frank Harvey. 

Theatre Royal, Coventry. (See August 2ist.) 

3rd. " Never Say ' Dye/" Farce by A. J. Levy. New Theatre, Swansea, 
5th. " Pluck," Sensational Domestic Drama in Seven Tableaux, by 

Henry Pettit and Augustus Harris. Drury Lane. 
1 9th. " Craft," Drama in a Prologue and Five Acts, by Arthur Sketchley. 

Theatre Royal, Leicester. 
2 1 st. " The Wages of Sin," produced for the first time in London at the 

Standard. (See August 3rd.) 
.2 1 st. "Daniel O'Connell," Comedy-Drama in Four Acts, by James 

Robertson. Queen's, Dublin. 

2ist. " Real Life," Drama in Five Acts. Surrey. 

2 1 st. "A Prince of Egypt," Drama in Four Acts, by Charles Squier. 
Her Majesty's, Richmond. 

TAX. i, 1883.] NE W PL A VS. 71 

2 8th. "Fra Diavolo," Burlesque in Three Scenes, by J. T. Denny. Phil- 


2nd. "Little Miss Muffet," Comedy in Three Acts, adapted from " La, 

Femme a Papa " of A. Hennequin, by James Albery. Criterion. 

(First produced under the title of " The Mulberry Bush," at 

Theatre Royal, Brighton, June ipth.) 
^th. "Tristan," Drama in Four Acts, by Ben. H. Hilton. Court, 

pth. " Diane," Play in Five Acts, adapted from " Diane de Lys " of 

Alexandre Dumas the Younger, by James Mortimer. Toole's. 
1 5th. " Little Robin Hood," Burlesque-Drama in Three Acts, by Robert 

Reece. Gaiety. 
" An Old Flame," Comedietta in One Act, adapted from " Le Passe 

de Nichette," by W. T. Blackmore. Gaiety (Afternoon). 
Black, but Comely," Drama in Three Acts, adapted from J. G- 

Whyte-Melville's novel of the same name, by Miss Stephanie 

Forrester. Gaiety (Afternoon.) 
2ist. "Young Mrs. Winthrop," Play in Four Acts, by Bronson Howard- 

Mary leb one. (Afternoon . ) 
28th. "The Novel Reader," Comedy in Three Acts, adapted from "La 

Petite Marquise," of Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy, by 

Joseph Mackay and Sydney Grundy. Globe (Afternoon). 

(Private Performance.) 
29th. " Mr. Guffin's Elopement," Musical Farce in One Act, by Arthur 

Law and George Grossmith. Alexandra, Liverpool. (See 

October 7th.) 
3oth. " Chandos," Drama in Five Acts, adapted from Ouida's novel of 

the same name, by Hartbury Brooklyn. Adelphi (Afternoon). 


2nd. " For Ever," Sensational Drama in Seven Acts, by Paul Merritt and 

George Conquest. Surrey. 

2nd. " Hope," Drama in Four Acts, by Arthur Law. Standard. 
2nd. "From Father to Son," Drama in Three Acts, by J. Palgrave 

Simpson, and Arthur A'Beckett. Bijou Opera House, 

6th. " Wrath ; or, A Message from the Dead," Drama in Three Acts, 

adapted from Ouida's " Strathmore," by C. H. Stephenson. 

Theatre Royal, Huddersfield. 
7th. " Mr. Guffin's Elopment," produced for the first time in London 

at Tooles. (See September 29th.) 
9th. "On Condition," Operetta in One Act, by Robert Reece and 

W. Meyer Llitz. Opera Comiiue. 
9lh. " Recommended to Mercy," Drama in a Prologue and Four Acts. 

adapted from Miss Braddon's "Joshua Haggard," by J. Wilton 

Jones. Theatre Royal, Dewslmry. 

THE THEATRE. [JAN. i, 1883. 

ioth." Suggs in Danger," Farce in One Act, by Thos. Atkinson, jun. 

Sadler's Wells. 
ioth. "A First Experiment," Comedietta in One Act, by J. Wilton 

Jones. Theatre Royal, Dewsbury. 
1 2th. "A Lazy Life," Comedy in Three Acts, by Arthur Shirley. New 

Cross Public Hall. 
1 4th. "Rip Van Winkle," Comic Opera in Three Acts, by Henri 

Meilhac, Phillippe Gille, and H. B. Farnie ; music by Robert 

Planquette. Comedy. 
i6th. " Wedded Bliss," Comedietta in One Act, adapted from the French, 

by Harry Paulton. Avenue. 
1 6th. " The Merry \Yar," Comic Opera in Three Acts, by F. Bell and 

Richard Genee ; music by Johann Strauss, English version by 

R. Reece. Alhambra. 
26th. " Mordecai Lyons," Domestic Drama, by Edmund Harrington. 

Her Majesty's, Richmond. 
28th. "Jean ; ou ; la Republique," Drama in Four Acts, adapted from the 

French. Sadler's Wells. 
3ist. "Girls and Boys," Comedy in Three Acts, by A. W. Pinero. 



is t. "More Than Ever," Burlesque in One Act, by Arthur Matthison. 

Gaiety (Afternoon). 
.6th. "The Ruling Passion," Drama in a Prologue and Five Acts, by James 

Willing. Standard. 
6th. " Eunice); or, Love and Duty," Drama in Four Acts, by E. Towers. 


nth. "Taking it Easy," Farce in One Act. Tootis (Afternoon), 
nth. "The Promise of May," Rustic Drama in Three Acts, by Alfred 

Tennyson. Globe. 
I4 th. "Picking up the Pieces," Comedietta in One Act, by Julian 

Sturgis. Court. 
j6th. "The Silver King," Drama in Five Acts, by Henry A. Jones and 

Henry Herman. Princess's. 
j 8th. " Love and Money," Drama in Five Acts, by Charles Reade and 

Henry Pettitt. Adelphi. 
jgth. "Frolique," Burlesque in Three Scenes, adapted from the French, 

by Henry J. Byron and H. B. Farnie. Strand. 
1 8th. " Pity," Drama in One Act, by Arthur Shirley. New Cross Public 


23 rd Dad," Comedy, by F. A. Scudamore. Theatre Royal, Belfast. 
25th. "lolanthe; or, The Peer and the Peri," Comic Opera in Two 

Acts, by W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Savoy. 


February, 1883. 

Richard Wagner as a Stage Manager, 


I HAD it in my mind, a year or so ago, to write a very 
different kind of paper under the above heading. Close study 
of Wagner's dramatic works had convinced me that his stage effects, 
striking and original as they were, were unpractical and idealistic. 
The unnecessary complexity of his stage directions, and the 
cumbrous phraseology in which they were couched, struck me as 
amateurish, while his introduction of live animals on the stage in 
the " Nibelung Ring" seemed conclusive evidence o.f v his lack of 

My opinions were simply knocked on the head and completely 
reversed in the space of six hours, on the memorable 3Oth of July 
last ; in other words, the performance of " Parsifal" made me feel 
ashamed of myself. In that extraordinary work Wagner has 
surpassed himself in the matter of stage effect, and I think I shall 
be doing a service to the English theatrical world in describing 
his ingenious devices from a professional point of view. 

First, there is that wounded swan. He flies across the stage 
with flapping wings and bent neck, in a really life-like manner. 
The knights bring on his dead body, limp and powerless, and he 
inspires interest instead of ridicule. A good skin admirably 
stuffed, supported by judiciously placed wires, that is all but in 
what other opera house would you see it ? Remember the " Lohen- 
grin" swan that we have to endure in London, and think, without 
a shudder if you can, of his crooked, wobbly neck ! 

Passing over the admirable dramatic effect of the hero's first 
entrance, suddenly tearing us from a solemn and impressive scene 


74 THE THE A TRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

to the angry cries of a crowd of knights who vow vengeance on the 
innocent slayer of the swan, let us consider that marvellous change 
of scene which illustrates Parsifal and Gurnemant taking their way 
to the castle of the Grail. 

The scene represents a forest glade, a lake showing through the 
trees at back. There are three sets of tree wings, or rather "cuts/' 
for they join on to the borders and have rocky ground-pieces 
across the stage. The libretto gives the following directions : 

" Gradually, while Parsifal and Gurnemant appear to walk, the 
scene changes from L. to R. The forest disappears ; a cave opens 
in rocky cliffs and conceals the two ; they are then seen again in 
sloping passages, which they appear to ascend. Long-sustained 
trombone notes softly swell ; approaching peals of bells are heard. 
At last they arrive at a mighty hall, which loses itself overhead in 
a high vaulted dome, down from which alone the light streams in." 

Technically this is what happens : the whole of the elaborate 
" set" forest moves across the stage, forming a quadruple panorama, 
the realistic effect being much heightened by the front portions 
moving much quicker than the back. The tree " cuts" are suc- 
ceeded by rocks, in which are seen, first natural caves, and then 
artificial passages partly lined with masonry. The front panorama 
then shuts in the stage with a front cloth representing a stone 
wall, close to the proscenium. After remaining stationary for 
thirty seconds only, instead of being drawn off, it sinks, and reveals 
the magnificent set scene of the cathedral hall a built dome with 
built cloisters all round. There is even a cloth laid over the 
whole stage, representing marble pavement. The whole of this 
elaborate change is accomplished with perfect smoothness, not a 
creak or sound of any sort betraying the means. The extent of 
the panorama, too, is very considerable, and the whole change 
takes a good ten minutes. On the second night a nail in the 
flies caught the front concealing canvas, and ripped it off the 
batten as it advanced. But even this betrayed no secrets. 
Through the gap I saw the cathedral scene already set, and before 
half the audience noticed anything amiss, the curtains gently 
closed for a moment (Wagner has abolished the ugly roll-up 
system), and the rest of the change was omitted. 

During the course of this scene I was much struck by the 
graceful positions of the two young ladies (names unknown) who 
did the pages, and also by the absolute precision of all the groups 

FEB. i,i883.] RICHARD WAGNER. 75 

and tableaux, which never varied in the different performances. 
I was told of an adventurous American reporter who risked 
unknown dangers, and secretly made his way into the " Fiirsten 
galerie" one morning at rehearsal. There he saw Wagner with a 
lump of chalk in his hand marking out on the stage (this scene 
being set) the positions of each table, bench, and group of knights. 
After this I doubted the great man's practicality no more. In 
fact, throughout, I have never seen stage business more perfectly 
rehearsed and performed, even by the Meiningers or at our own 

Now for the next impossible effect. The wounded king, Am- 
fortas, takes an antique crystal cup (the " Grail") from the shrine, 
which the youths set down on a table before him, and all bend in 
prayer before it, while the stage gradually darkens. Stage 
direction : 

"A blinding ray of light shoots down from above upon the 
cup, which glows with increasing crimson lustre. Amfortas, with 
brightened mien, raises the " Grail" aloft, and waves it gently 
about on all sides." 

How would you manage this little piece of business, friend 
stage-manager ? It puzzled me for a long while. First I thought 
there must be a lamp in the cup, but an opera glass showed that 
this was not the case. After the ray of limelight shot down on 
the central group the cup glowed and glowed, brighter and 
brighter, till one could hardly look at it. This is how it was 
done. On taking the cup from its shrine the pages attach to it 
two fine wires which issue from the table. The cup, opalescent 
outside, is crimson within, and contains an incandescent electric 
lamp ! The gasman, or somebody at the prompt, turns on the 
current gradually, and there you are. 

In the second act there are several admirable points. The 
change of scene from the sorcerer's donjon keep to his magic 
flower-garden is not only a clever mechanical change, but the 
contrast between the gloomy walls and the almost extravagantly 
gorgeous garden is a very happy effect. The whole stage is 
covered with flowering shrubs of gigantic dimensions ; they climb 
up and shut out all view of the sky ; a partial glimpse of a 
Moorish palace at one side and an opening leading to the garden 
wall at the extreme back of the exceedingly deep stage afford the 
only relief to the eye from the wild tangle of sprays, leaves, and 

G 2 

/6 THE THE A TRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

roses as big as an umbrella. This gaudy mass of glaring colour 
has been objected to by many, but its very exaggeration is done 
with deliberate intent, as we shall see presently. At the end of 
the act, Parsifal, having resisted all evil temptation, the magician 
issues from the palace (R. 2nd E.) with the sacred spear which he 
has purloined in his hand, threatening to destroy the young man 
with the weapon he has come to seek. The book says : 

" He flings the spear at Parsifal ; it remains floating over his 
head. Parsifal grasps it with his hand, and brandishes it with a 
gesture of exalted rapture, making the sign of the Cross with it." 

This very ticklish business is managed in the following inge- 
nious manner : a fine wire runs across the stage about seven feet 
from the ground. One end is fixed to the prompt wing, where 
Parsifal stands, the other is held loose behind Klingsor by a car- 
penter. The spear is slung on this wire by a couple of little 
rings attached to it by thin threads. When Klingsor raises the 
spear, the carpenter fixes that end of the wire taut, the spear 
whizzes along to the end ; Parsifal catches it, plucks it off the 
threads easily snapping and there you are again ! 

Now the act concludes with a masterly piece of effect. Parsifal 
makes the sign of the Cross and curses the magician. Instantly, 
almost before you can wink your eye, there is a clap of thunder 
(noble thunder it is too !), the various pieces of the elaborate "set" 
fly up, down, off, with perfect simultaneousness, the palace at the 
side crumbles to ruins, a rain of faded flowers descends for a 
moment from the flies, and before you can realize what has hap- 
pened the stage is almost bare. One or two withered and broken 
palms alone remain, there are bleak and dismal snow-capped 
mountains in the extreme distance all the rest is a howling 
wilderness of sand and rocks. Apart from the admirable way in 
which the carpenters do their work, I know of no trick change- 
arid I have seen many which is at all to be compared to this for 
effect. After having one's eyes really pained for three-quarters 
of an hour by the glare of colour in the garden, the dull misery 
of that barren waste is a thing neither to be forgotten nor 
described, so impressive is it. Whoever carried it out, our pro- 
foundest respect is due to the master-mind which conceived this 
gigantic effect. It simply staggers the audience, and the applause 
forbidden at all other times is here not to be restrained. 

The third act presents fewer points for notice. A well-painted 
spring landscape is the first scene, and this was originally intended 

EB. i, i88 3 .] RICHARD WAGNER. 77 

to change by a panorama to the " Grail " castle, as in the first 
act. The panorama was painted and tried, but Wagner con- 
sidered the effect to be spoiled by repetition in which he was 
doubtless quite right. The curtain closes for a few minutes 
during the change here, as elsewhere, performed without the 
least noise. One little point in the action of the second scene of 
this act is worthy of remark. The king, unable to bear the torture 
of his wound any longer, implores his knights to slay him. He 
tears open his robe, and, rising from the sofa which he has never 
yet quitted, staggers to the front. The whole of the crowd of 
knights make a simultaneous rush after him, and this, the only 
movement of the characters that has taken place for some 
time, has an electric effect. One feels quite a creepy thrill, and 
this is the moment of all others for the climax. Parsifal steps 
forward, touches the king with the sacred spear, heals him, and 
usurps his office. He takes out and displays the Grail with the 
same effect as in the first act. An exquisitely grouped tableau 
is formed, and in the flood of light pouring from the cup a white 
dove is seen to descend and hover over Parsifal's head. I noticed 
with satisfaction the ingenious arrangement of wires by which 
this bird was made to descend with perfect steadiness and remain 
motionless to the end. At Covent Garden we should have had 
our old friend the " Der Frieschiitz " pigeon, with his wings made 
on the principle of a child's feather windmill. 

Now in all the effects, great and small, here detailed, I con- 
tend that the ingenuity of Wagner himself has alone made the 
impossible possible, and the hazardous certain. Don't we all 
know how the swan, spear and dove effects would ruin the whole 
performance at an ordinary opera house ? At a theatre where 
a piece runs for some hundreds of nights, very ticklish feats of 
stage-management may be accomplished, though never with abso- 
lute certainty in England, where the sobriety of stage-carpenters 
is not to be relied on ; but at the opera, where the piece is 
changed every night heaven knows why ! Wagner's music- 
dramas, even " Lohengrin/' are simply impossible. It is a pity that 
a man should make things so hard for all concerned, and make a 
decent performance of his works a rarity, but Wagner has conclu- 
sively shown in " Parsifal " that none of his effects are per se im- 
possible and therefore one blessing is likely to result namely, the 
gradual improvement in matters of stage management at opera 
houses. And I am sure there is plenty of room for it. 

78 THE THE A TRE. [FEB. i, 

A Ladies' Debate on Henry Irving. 

TT^EW persons will be found bold enough to dispute the fact 
that the fair sex possesses in large measure the talent 
known as the " gift of the gab" whether that gift be often asso- 
ciated with skill in argument or power of keeping to the point is 
a question on which opinion will probably be less unanimous. 

"Arguments out of a pretty mouth," says Addison, in "The 
Freeholder," " are unanswerable ;" but the playful humour which 
underlies his remark, and which testifies his real opinion as to the 
quality of such arguments, would be obvious enough even had he 
not, later in the same publication, drawn up, for lady disputants 
among Whigs and Tories, a cartel, of which the second para- 
graph ran as follows : " That if, in the course of the engage- 
ment, either of the combatants, finding herself hard pressed 
by her adversary, should proceed to personal reflections or 
discovery of secrets, they shall be parted by the standers-by." 
The so-called Augustan Age has given place to the Victorian, 
and ladies to whom Addison paid his merry compliments are suc- 
ceeded by individuals for whom " higher education" has done its 
best and its worst. We have now our students of Girton and of 
Nuneham, and our " sweet girl graduates" of the University of 
London. At the close of the Session 1881-2 a lady-student 
carried off, over the heads of the men, a prize for Logic at Univer- 
sity College, London, and Addison's pleasantly-veiled sarcasms 
were avenged ! A " Women's Debating Society" has for some time 
existed, under the presidency of Mrs. Fawcett, at University 
College. Several of its members rejoice in the strange-sounding, 
jest-provoking title of "Bachelor of Arts." Ready wits and ready 
tongues arm combatants for the arena of discussion ; the shield of 
good temper completes the equipment ; and there has not, as yet, 
appeared any need for the enforcement of the excellent advice 
delivered to female Hanoverians and Jacobites in fiery days 
gone by. 

The 1 3th of last December was appointed by the Committee of 
the Women's Debating Society as " Visitors' Day/' for the first 
term of the College Session. It was our privilege on that occasion 
to attend the deliberations of the august body, and, as the subject 

FKB. i, 1883.] PIENR Y IR VING. 79 

under discussion was connected with the drama, it strikes us that 
a very brief report of the proceedings of the evening would not be 
out of place in this periodical. 

Five o'clock was the hour fixed for the opening of the debate in 
the "Women's Common Room" of the College. Flaring gas and 
a roaring fire did their ineffectual best to counteract the influence 
of the fog which reigned despotically without, and which made a 
spirited attempt to usurp sovereignty within. A goodly number 
of girls and women had assembled in the dull, spacious room 
devoted to the use of female students. Members of the Society 
seated themselves on either side of a long table ; would-be auditors 
of the debate took up their station on forms and chairs placed 
within convenient hearing distance ; a chairwoman formally took 
the chair, and the business of the evening began. We glanced 
over the faces before us, and mentally classified their owners. 
The aesthetic element, the sternly logical element, the aggressively 
radical, the romantically conservative, the prosy, the quizzical and 
the humorous elements all had their representatives in the 
ladies present, or our powers of observation were nil. Differing 
styles of garments helped our investigation. We had before our 
eyes every variety of typical costume, from the artistic to the rough 
and ready, or to the ultra fashionable. Our inspection was broken 
in upon by the announcement from the chair of the motion before 
the meeting : " That Henry Irving has, by his dramatic genius, 
well earned his place as foremost among living English actors."" 
A certain Miss Rees a lady tall of figure, intelligent of face, 
and animated of manner sprang forward to throw down an ora- 
torical gauntlet, and challenge all comers. She spoke with ease 
and spirit, never pausing for thoughts or for words in which to 
clothe them. 

After a few words of personal explanation, which does not 
concern us here, Miss Rees struck her first warlike note, by 
asserting roundly that all which she had to say might be resolved 
into one argument that of Irving's undoubted success. The 
difficulty of obtaining seats at the Lyceum, the crowded state of 
stalls and boxes, and the wedged-in condition of the mass of 
humanity in the gallery were all brought forward as indications of 
the justice of the proposition entrusted to this speaker's care. 
' You may tell me/' pursued the lady, facing about, and casting 
a half-defiant glance over her audience, "that Irving plays to the 

So THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

gallery, and that accomplished critics have pronounced against 
him. Well ! at this point comes out the radicalism of my 
nature a radicalism by no means confined to politics. I have 
a profound faith in the vox populi in the voice of that common 
people, who, on some of the deepest problems ever submitted to 
the human race, have given a true verdict, when the cultured and 
the great have gone astray." Here Miss Rees paused to take 
breath, to sip water, and to enjoy the applause elicited by her 
sentiments. But she quickly resumed, with a skilful change of 
tone, marking transition from declamation to narrative. " The 
first occasion on which I saw Irving, he played Hamlet. I went 
to the theatre with an unbiased mind, and when the chief actor 
entered, in the second scene, I was disappointed with his ap- 
pearance ; he looked too cross even for the moody prince. My 
attention wandered, but, after a while, it was arrested by the 
perfect intonation of a short speech which Hamlet addressed to 
Polonms. ' You cannot take from me anything that I will more 
willingly part withal, except my life! I shall never forget the depth 
of pathos contained in the last three words ; it seemed to me 
that the key-note of the play had been struck, and that I saw into- 
Hamlet's very soul. ' Irving is, at least, an actor,' I told myself. 
In the scene, with the players, I observed in Hamlet a princely 
dignity, which I had missed before, and at once I recognized 
that its absence, at first, and its introduction here, were both judi- 
cious. When the prince first appears, he is under a cloud, but 
when he is with the players, the old charm comes back to him, and, 
for a while, he is the Hamlet of the past. ' Irving is not only an 
actor but an artist', I determined, reaching my second point, and, 
thenceforth, all criticism was lost in admiration/"' 

We have not time or space to give all Miss Rees*' observations 
in her own words. She lavishly praised the eloquence of Irving' s 
attitude in the Play Scene, his wonderful by-play, his satirical 
mask to Ophelia, and his passionate speech to the King. Then 
she passed to encomiums on that actor's " Othello/' and to com- 
parison between himself and Booth. Great admiration was 
expressed for the representation of Shylock, and something not 
unlike an apology offered for the enactment of Romeo a part for 
which Irving was physically unfit. Then the speaker passed 
from Shakespeare to pronounce the performance in " The Bells" 
a psychological study, and to contrast with it as representing 

, 1883.] HENR Y IR VING. 8 1 

the actor's versatility of genius the assumption of the totally 
different character of Jingle. Miss Rees concluded, in some such 
words as these : " I do not claim for Irving that he is that fault- 
less monster, a piece of perfection. There are spots, doubtless, 
on my sun, and we shall hear the names of them during this 
debate. Nevertheless, surrounded though I am by competent 
judges, I do most confidently propose the motion, which stands 
in my name * That Henry Irving has, by his dramatic genius, 
well earned his place as foremost among living English actors.' " 

Miss Rees resumed her seat amid cheers, and a Mrs. Brooks- 
banks rose to lead the opposition. This speaker was a self- 
contained lady, with a relish unless her face belied her for 
quiet satire. She began a very clever speech, with the remark 
that comparison with other members of the profession was the 
only reasonable ground on which to establish Irving's superiority 
over other actors, and she reminded the meeting that Miss Rees 
had not compared Irving's impersonations with those of any 
English actors. Booth, to whom some reference had been made, 
was an American. Tooth and nail this speaker opposed the 
argument, that because Irving had achieved success, therefore he 
is great. " I am," said Mrs. Brooksbanks, " one of that small 
minority who hold that intelligence is the true basis of taste. 
What is that mysterious mixture, the taste of the British public ? 
Many persons found it impossible to tear themselves away from 
' Our Boys ;' that piece had a longer run than any of Irving's 
plays. ' Drink' is not necessarily a work of art, because the 
public throng to see it. If the British play-going audience 
were less immense, lengthy runs would be better criterions of 
success than they can be at present, for they would mean, not 
streams of fresh auditors, but the frequent reappearance of the 
same playgoers. 

" The question,'' briskly continued Mrs. Brookbanks, " is often 
addressed to those who do not admire our ( leading tragedian' 
' Why does the British public like Irving ?' Now, clearly, that is 
not a fair inquiry to put to us ; we should be puzzled to answer 
it. Let the British public" with a sly smile "give a reason 
for the hope, to us inexplicable, that is in them/' 

The speaker linked her hands together, brought them down upon 
the table, and proceeded : " When an actor is fairly launched, he 
cannot possibly keep afloat without talent, and that Irving does 

82 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

possess a certain talent I readily admit, but it is not commanding 
talent in his art. He shows his talent in judicious management, 
in delighting our eyes with wonderful mountings and scenic 
effects, and in securing the co-operation of the leading actress, 
Now, let us look into his capabilities as an actor. 

" An actor ought to be able to stand, to walk, to move quickly, 
to speak, to declaim, and to give some appearance of spontaneous 
movement. In insisting on these points we are not demanding 
great things from an actor ; we ask as much from any human 
being. But instead of standing, Irving fidgets ; instead of walk- 
ing, he lurches ; instead of moving quickly, he gives three 
portentous strides ; instead of speaking, he makes unintelligible 
sounds ; instead of declaiming, he rants ; and he is incapable of 
simulating spontaneous movement. ' Is the language Greek or 
Hebrew ?' asked a friend, who went with me one evening to hear 
this great actor. * Neither ; it is Irving's English,' I answered, 
' but unless one knows his plays, word for word, one is apt to be 
confused.' " 

The audience laughs, and Mrs. Brooksbanks goes quietly on. 
" 'Ah!' say the great man's friends, 'but there is in Irving that 
which makes his faults of minor importance.' I doubt whether 
such faults could co-exist with great intellectual ability. But 
what is this subtle quality which is so vaguely commended ? Is 
it poetry ? At least we have not in Irving's performances the 
poetry of motion ; and poetical motion is the highest range of in- 
tellectual ability which an actor can attain. It was poetry of 
motion which struck Charlotte Bronte with overwhelming force 
when the happiness was given to her of seeing Rachel. Irving's 
tragedy is melodrama, under a specious form and another name. 
He has the power of representing such a character as his famous 
one in ' The Bells ;' and where melodrama is possible in Shake- 
speare he succeeds. Miss Rees tells us that she will not lay 
much stress on Irving's Romeo, because he is not physically 
suited to the part. Well, to me his physical defects are of minor 
importance. My objection goes far deeper. I hold that he could 
not conceive Shakespeare's Romeo. 

" And what conception has he of Hamlet of that saddest of 
sad minds, through which breaks the light of an intellectual 
humour contrasting with the soul's despair ? Where is the humour 
under Irving's treatment? From beginning to end we have 

FEB. i, 1883.] HENR Y IR VING. 83 

nothing but melodramatic gloom. When we see him in the 
ghost scene, what likeness has Shakespeare's Hamlet, who is in 
our mind's eye, with the grovelling form on the Lyceum floor ? 
Those of us who had the misfortune to see Irving's Hamlet or 
Macbeth discovered, unless I am hugely mistaken, nothing tragic in 
the skulking murderer there represented. Who that is loyal to 
Shakespeare's memory can sit calmly to see libels on his greatest 
works ?" 

Mrs. Brooksbanks, like Brutus, paused, as if for a reply, then 
she took up the thread of her discourse. " ' The Falcon' was, 
happily, not left to Lyceum management. In it appeared an 
actress who has the perception to know what parts suit her, and 
who possesses quick intelligence, an artistic temperament, nervous 
mobility, grace, charm, and poetry. All these gifts are not 
enough necessarily to save an actor from the perils of caprice. 
Sarah Bernhardt has them all, and she ends where Rachel begins. 
But which of all these qualities did Irving display in Romeo ? 
' Romeo, come forth ; come forth, thou fearful man/ cries Friar 
Lawrence in the play, and Shakespeare's epithet acquires a new 
meaning when addressed to Irving. Mrs. Kendal's acting not 
to name that of any other occupant of the stage gives the nega- 
tive to the motion before the meeting. I cannot think so poorly 
of the English stage as to give to Irving the foremost place among 
English actors." 

Loud cheers greeted the conclusion of Mrs. Brooksbank's 
speech. Several other ladies addressed the meeting, and 
opinion seemed pretty fairly divided on the merits or de- 
merits of Irving's histrionic performances. After the ball had 
been kept rolling for some time, to the entertainment alike 
of players and lookers-on, Miss Rees rose to reply to the 
opposing speeches. She made several points in the course 
of her oration. Her first observations were directed to 
criticisms on her arguments respecting success and greatness. 
i( Success," urged Miss Rees, " is a mark of merit in an actor, 
though not in a moralist or a teacher. The function of the actor 
is to please; if he pleases, he has succeeded." 

At the close of Miss Rees' speech, votes were taken by a show 
of hands ; and Irving gained, by a narrow majority, the suffrages 
of the Society. 

We passed reluctantly from the comfortably warm room, and 

84 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

the amusingly warm debate, into the fog and mire of Gower 
Street. Our part of auditor had afforded us much entertainment. 
We trust that this short account of the proceedings has not utterly 
failed to incite some answering amusement on the part of our readers. 
It is not necessary to say that we in nowise identify ourselves 
with any of the opinions expressed in the debate. Our pure and 
single motive while we occupy a rising ground, removed from 
the din and heat of the conflict is to give a slight sketch of a 
battle, fought on a point of dramatic interest, by members of the 
" Women's Debating Society" of University College. 

Felicity's Song. 


THERE'S a jingle to make a maiden glad, 
And flush the skies above her, 
The clink of the spurs of her soldier lad, 
" I am a faithful lover." 

Sun is shining, flow'rs are blooming, 
Light and bloom are not for aye, 
What if sob and sigh are looming, 
Hear the jingle while you may ! 

There's a music to make a maiden sad, 

And pale the skies with sorrow, 
The ring of the spurs of her soldier lad, 
" Farewell until the morrow." 

Sun is setting, flow'rs are drooping, 

Light and bloom are not for aye, 
"Willow youth with grief is stooping, 
While the jingle dies away. 

There's a knell that will make a maiden mad, 

And veil the skies for ever, 
The jolt of the spurs of her soldier lad,, 
" Farewell, I loved thee never." 

Moon has risen, glow-worm glistens, 

She has lost the sun for aye, 
But another maiden listens 
To the jingle far away. 


FEB.I.IS83.] FEDORA. 85 



THE long-expected, long-trumpetted "Fedora" has been pro- 
duced at the Paris Vaudeville, with a success, which, 
already in the first week of its existence, when these lines were 
written, bids fair to become phenomenal. 

That such a play is precisely worthy the reputation of " M. 
Victorien Sardou de 1' Academic frangaise" may be doubted. But 
that " Fedora" places its author at the head of playwright-presti- 
digitation, and proclaims him the very Maskelyne-and-Cooke of 
theatrical legerdemain may be readily allowed. No other living 
writer, in fact, could have so brilliantly cheated an audience of 
human beings out of their reasoning faculties for the space of 
three hours on end, with the most fabulous stage-fable of modern 
times. But the cheat, however brilliant, becomes evident when 
the fable is not acted, but narrated. And the fable of " Fedora" 
may be succinctly but sufficiently narrated in this way. 

The drama opens at St. Petersburg, under the Nihilistic dis- 
pensation of to-day. 

We are at the Hotel of the Minister of Police, and in the private 
apartments of Wladimir Garishkine, his son. The French valet, 
Desire, is waiting his master's return. In conversation with him 
is a dog-faced Jew jeweller, come to tout for an order for a corbeille 
that is likely to be wanted soon. Wladimir, a prodigal young 
man of pleasure, is about to replenish his exhausted purse by a 
marriage with a millionaire widow, the Princess Fedora RomazofF. 
Fedora adores }\vc futur. No wonder, then, that, not having seen 
him that evening as she expected, the Princess, presently enters 
on the scene in search of him ; for the times are terrible, and a 
Garishkine only too likely to have ill befall him. 

The Princess's previsions prove but too correct. The noise of 
wheels is heard. Wladimir's carriage has returned. But it is not 
he who appears in the doorway. It is a bullet-headed man with 
a shaven, sallow, Calmuck face Gretch, the sons-chef of police. 

From the bedroom beyond comes the sound of hurrying feet, 
and frightened voices. Then a hush ; and then a low faint moan. 

No need to tell Fedora what has happened. Wladimir is there. 

86 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

" Dead ?" 

Before anyone can stay her she is at the door of the bedroom 
and has opened it. 

In the reddish light, round about the bed, the surgeons are seen 
at their work. There are the blood-stained towels. There is 
blood in the basins you see carried away. A general ghastliness of 
detail seizes the spectator by the throat, as it were. 

The wounded man expires. Across his dead body the Princess 
registers a vow of revenge. Meantime, Gretch has commenced an 
interrogatory. From this it results that Wladimir's expedition to 
the queer street, in the remote suburb where Gretch had found him 
desperately wounded and alone, was undertaken in consequence of 
a letter which an unknown woman had brought him that morning. 
What has become of this letter ? Wladimir was seen to place 
it in the drawer of the writing-table yonder. The key is in the 
lock ; the drawer is opened ; no letter. 

Who has had access to that table ? One person only it appears, 
the Count Loris Ipanoff. And Loris Ipanoff is suspected of 
Nihilism. The case is clear at least to Fedora. Louis Ipanoff 
has abstracted this letter. Therefore it was he who planned the 
guet-a-pens in the queer street, and it is he who is Wladimir's 

She turns like a tigress upon the detectives. 
" Mais arretez-le done, imbeciles ! II va fuir" 
From the window she watches the entry of Gretch and his 
myrmidons into the house opposite, where Ipanoff lives. With 
one of those rugissements that she alone can utter, she beholds 
him, as she thinks, arrested. 

Ipanoff, however, is not so easily had. He succeeds in making 
his escape, and reaches Paris in safety. To Paris, then, the scene 
is transferred. 

Fedora, intent upon her vengeance, has followed Wladimir's 
assassin, with Gretch and a few of his familiars in her suite. Her 
plan is to inveigle Loris into a love affair with her, a la Gabrielle 
Fenayrou, and since, his crime being political, he cannot be 
extradited to hand him over to Gretch one dark night. By 
Gretch, the Count is to be embarked in a steam-yacht lying con- 
venient in the river, taken down to Havre, and there transferred to 
a Russian gun-boat. Once in Russia, the political nature of his 

in;, i, 1883.] FEDORA. 87 

crime is to be ignored, and Loris Ipanoff is to die the death of 
a common murderer at the hands of the common executioner. 

Circumstances appear to favour the execution of this delectable 
plot. Loris, who has never known of Fedora's intended marriage 
with Wladimir, and has, therefore, no reason for suspecting her 
intentions towards himself, when they meet, falls in love with the 
Princess in the most convenient fashion possible. But Fedora's 
sentiments towards her victim get rather " mixed" about this 
period. Loris makes love in so agreeable a fashion that she 
begins to fancy it was not he, perhaps, after all, who put that 
revolver-bullet into Wladimir. One night, when they are guests 
at the house of a compatriote, and are left alone by the rest of the 
company to discuss their little personal affairs, the Princess intro- 
duces the subject. Then follows the best scene of the whole 
play. The Count admits that he is under an accusation of too 
serious a character to admit of his returning to Russia, albeit he, 
with a peculiar emphasis, asserts his innocence of any criminal act. 
But of what is it that they accuse him ? 
Of the murder of Wladimir Garishkine, he says. 
Ah ! But he is innocent ? 

Something in his tone makes her doubt. He must be made to 
say more. She turns upon him scornfully : 

Innocent! And he has never defended himself! And he has 
run away ! And he can live under this infamy ! And he can ask 
her to share it ! 

So she gets, at last, the truth out of him. Not the whole truth, 
of course, or there would be an end of the play, and there are two 
more acts to come ; but the truth, nevertheless, as far as his answer 

But, before he makes confession, he takes her hand in his, and 
looks into her eyes, and asks her if she loves him honestly, loyally 
wholly ? In her burning curiosity to hear what he is going to say 
she responds, word for word, as he would have her. 
Well ? 

Then he tells her that it was he who shot Wladimir. 
It was ! Ah ! And she tears away her hand, and recoils in 

" Ah ! Assassin ! assassin !" 

It was no assassination, the Count avers. 

88 THE THEA TRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

" An accident, perhaps ?" she suggests, sardonically. 

"A punishment," he returns. 

What can he mean ? There is something yet that he has not 
told her that he must tell her. And he is going ; arid, if he 
goes now, he may escape her, who knows ? 

She brings him back. She smoothes her face. She smiles on 
him. She practises " the woven paces and the waving hands" of 
Vivien upon him. She sinks down, at last, in those convolutions 
you wot of, and draws him close to her, and she is all Delilah 
for his secret as she whispers in his ear : 

" Come, tell me. Why did you kill him ? Tell me." 

But he objects that this is neither the time nor place for such 
a confidence. To-morrow. 

No ! no ! How can he ask her to wait till to-morrow, when 
three words to-night would suffice ? He must tell her all, to- 
night. Listen. She is going home. Let him follow presently. 
The little gate that opens into the garden will be unfastened. 
She will be alone. He will come ? 

He will. He covers her hand with his kisses, ere he leaves 
her. She smiles on him to the last. As the door closes on him 
she springs to her feet, a vengeful Alecto, wringing from off her 
hand, as it were, the imprint of his lips. And there is a poisonous 
triumph in her hiss, "Ak ! bandit ! Je te ticns /" 

In the third act we are at the hotel of the Princess, in the 
Cours-la-Reine the most deserted spot, after nightfall, in 
fashionable Paris. 

Whilst she awaits the coming of Ipanoff, Fedora gives her in- 
structions to her secret police. The Count will enter by the 
garden-gate unmolested; As soon as she has got from him all 
she wants to know, the Princess will dismiss him by the grille 
which opens on the Quai, where Greich and his men will be in 
ambush. This settled, the Princess, " from information received," 
is enabled to despatch to St. Petersburg a denunciation, which 
will insure the arrest and incarceration of a brother of the Count's, 
and thus enhance her revenge. Gretch then disappears. Loris 
enters. And Fedora hears the truth. Yes. It was he who 
killed Wladimir Garishkine. But why ? Wladimir was the lover 
of his, Loris', wife. And the Count produces documentary evidence 
of what he advances. 

The situation here is though something will have to be said of 

FEB. i, 1883.] 



the way in which it is brought about intensely dramatic and 
exciting. Fedora reads, under Wladimir's own hand, assurances 
of love eternal addressed to another woman, and references no 
less galling as to his real motives of his contemplated union with 
herself. And this is the man she loved ! This the man she 
mourned ! This the lover she has sworn to avenge ! Ah ! 
heavens ! what has she done ? And Loris is innocent Loris 
whom she has plotted to destroy Loris whom they are waiting 
for, yonder, in the ambush on the Quai ! If he leaves her to-night 
he is lost. Loris must not go. And when he urges that for her 
sake he must, and when she dares not tell him that for his life he 
must not, leave her, then passionately she flings herself upon his 
breast, passionately her arms enlace him. 

" Stay," she murmurs. 

The denouement follows rapidly. The lover's paradise is soon 
broken in upon. The train Fedora has laid, and forgotten, ex- 
plodes in due course, and blasts her new-found felicity. Terrible 
news comes from Russia in the fourth act. Ipanoffs brother, 
Valerian, arrested at Fedora's denunciation, has perished in his 
prison. Ipanoff's mother has died under the blow. And Loris 
will know directly whose hand it is that has slain them both, for 
the secret worker of all the ill that has befallen him and them is 
known. Boroff has discovered that his friend's evil genius is a 


woman, and Boroff will be there in half an hour to tell Loris this 
woman's name. 

An abyss opens at Fedora's feet. Loris will know her for what 
she is. It is that which appals her. Not that Loris, who has 
sworn to kill the woman, should kill her. 

Stay ! there is one chance for her yet. 

In the wonderful scene that follows, Fedora, with a power and 
passion that at last reveal to Loris whose cause it is she is really 
pleading Fedora pleads the cause of this woman. But the truth, 
the horrible truth, flashes out upon her lover. 

" C'etait done toi !" he cries. 

The lover disappears, and the man. There remains only the 
Tartar. And in an instant the Tartar has her by the throat. She 
struggles, not for life, but that she may not die by his hand, for 
she has snatched something from her bosom, and it is at her lips 
as she gasps out to him to hold off, for that which he wants to do 
is done. 


90 THE THE A TRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

The poison she swallows is prompt " O true apothecary !" 
and potent enough to kill her there and then before him. In his 
arms she breathes her last. As he rises abruptly from the sofa 
where he has placed her, the corpse rolls down again upon the 
floor an "effect" that must be seen to be appreciated as it 

As Loris rushes in horror from her room, the curtain falls. 

The piece, it will be gathered, is a tissue of improbabilities of 
the most impossible character a tissue which a moment's reflec- 
tion rips to pieces, at any and every stage of the action, almost. 

A man receives a letter from his mistress appointing a secret 
interview. He does not destroy this letter, but places it before 
witnesses in the drawer of a writing-table, in a room to which 
not only the husband of his mistress, but the woman whose millions 
it is so essential he should marry, have both access at all hours. 
And as if that were not enough, he goes off to his rendezvous 
leaving the key in the drawer, also ! If he had locked that drawer 
and put the key in his pocket, his tcte-a-tete would not have been 
interrupted by the husband, he himself would not have been shot, 
and there would have been no play. 

Having pistolled the seducer of his wife, Ipanofif takes the next 
train to Paris. Why ? It is absolutely necessary to the plot 
that he should do so ; but, with all that documentary evidence in 
his possession, which he subsequently produces to Fedora, there is 
no other reason why he should not have comfortably remained at 
home, where he could have cleared himself in five minutes. 

However, he runs away, and the Princess follows him on a 
" personally-conducted" vendetta. In order that she may do so, we 
are asked to swallow the enormous improbability that Ipanoff, 
living on terms of social intimacy and equality with her and with 
Wladimir, was absolutely ignorant of that approaching marriage 
between them, which is a matter of common talk amongst lackeys 
and Jew jewellers. But then, Ipanoff must have no suspicion of 
the Princess's errand, for he is to fall in love with her. She, on 
her side, whom we left raving for revenge upon the murderer of 
her betrothed this feather-brained policierc, whose "plot" for the 
kidnapping of her enemy smacks of Charenton this hysterical 
epileptic, whose " rage of the vulture/' in act i., becomes " love 
of the turtle/' in act iii., simply and solely for the benefit of 
act iv. this phenomenal Fedora falls in love with him. Inter- 

FEB. i, 1883.] FEDOEA. 91 

mediately comes the grand scene in which Ipanoff avows that it 
was he who slew Wladimir. Dramatic, wonderfully dramatic, 
before the footlights, but idiotic the moment the gas is turned off 
it. If Ipanoff killed Wladimir, and the killing was no murder, 
but chastisement, for what was it chastisement, and why did he 
kill him ? As the Princess remarks, three words more would 
explain all. And it is precisely those three words that Ipanoff 
refuses to utter, until the next act. Why ? Because, if he uttered 
them sooner, the curtain would have to come down then and there. 
If he said straight out : I killed Wladimir Garishkine, not because 
I am a Nihilist, but because he was the lover of my wife : the 
Princess, thus enlightened, would have no motive for perpetrating 
that denunciation of Ipanoff's brother ; and, then, what becomes 
of the catastrophe ? 

So the eclair cissement is kept back ; the denunciation is made ; 
and Gretch and company are posted in ambush outside. And 
then Ipanoff clears himself alike from the charges of assassination 
and of Nihilism, and then, as it is now getting well into the small 
hours, appears, not unnaturally, to be desirous of going home to 
bed. However, the Princess throws her arms round his neck, 
hugs, implores, and so forth, to persuade him to stop. Why ? 
Because of Gretch and company outside, whom a word from her 
would have got rid of forthwith. Only, if they were thus got 
rid of, the great Sarah would lose her great "flopping" scene, 
which would be a pity. Still, Ipanoff cleared, and Ipanoff now 
her lover, why does the Princess forget to annul that terrible 
charge she has made out of her own head, apparently against 
his brother ? Merely because that charge annulled, the brother 
and the mother and she herself would all be alive at the finish, 
and there would be consequently no strangulation-business, and no 
death-agony required. Howbeit, in the matter of this " Fedora," 
"to remark the folly of the fiction, the absurdity of the conduct, 
the improbability of the events, were to waste criticism upon faults 
too gross for aggravation," as I read in a page of Johnsonese 
that came under my eye curiously a propos, just now. Criticism 
were the rather wasted on " Fedora," because its faults, however 
gross, will probably in nowise interfere with its success. Here is 
where M. Sardou's legerdemain comes in. So brilliant, so perfect, 
so continuous is his escamotage, that you no more see these faults 
at the time, than Tilburina saw his Spanish fleet. Not, indeed, for 

H 2 

92 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

Tilburina's reason, because they are not in sight, but which after 
all comes pretty much to the same thing-, perhaps because you 
are never given time to see them. Once this Voyage a travers 
? impossible has come to an end, once you are outside again on the 
matter-of-fact asphalte of the Boulevard, once you have regained 
proprietary rights in your own eyes, and the grip is off your 
throat, and the tension off your nerves, once, in short, you are 
yourself again, and quit of Sardou and Sarah, why, then, of course > 
the foolishness and the absurdity and the improbability come out 
strong. Then, though, k tour cstjoue I 

As to the interpretation. If no one but Sardou could have 
written " Fedora,'' nobody but " la grande Sarah" could have 
played the piece. I say the piece, and not the part, because 
" Fedora" is Sarah, and nothing else to speak of : a duo for a single 
voice. They were in doubt for a long while who was to be Sarah's 
partner in this performance, but the lot not altogether an enviable 
one at length fell upon Berton. Fourteen years ago, Sarah, then 
a debutante, was playing very much the same game she , plays in 
" Fedora" with Berton's father, in the "Dramede la Rue de la 
Paix/' at the Odeon. There, however, the elder Berton had it all 
his own way. The son is hardly " in it," as Ipanoff, with Sarah 
now. Every other part has been cut down to mere comparse level, 
though every other part is admirably filled. Nothing could be 
better, of its kind, than the Doctor of Boisselot better made up and 
accented than the Jew Tchileff of Colombey, more characteristically 
imperturbable and sinister than the Gretch of Michel ; while it was 
as difficult to recognize, in the "correct'' attache, de Sirieix, the Vois 
who was so delightful as the prison-governor in the " Voyage 
d'Agrement," as it was to believe that the red-haired little moujik r 
Dimitri, and the charming ingenue of " Tete de Linotte," were 
equally the (t creations" of Mademoiselle Depoix. 

But Sarah ! Only that eccentric, but ecstatic, " derangement of 
epitaphs/' which Mr. Lillyvick applied to the performance, on a 
memorable occasion, of " the unrivalled Miss Petowker, of the 
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane/' only that and, perhaps, not even 
that can describe Sarah's Fedora. It is, indeed, "absorbing, 
fairy-like, tumultuous." Her own especial Lillyvicks maintain 
that it gives to one of no less desert the laurel greener from the 
brows of Champmeslte, and of Clairon, of Lecouvreur, of Dorval, 
and of Rachel. There be others who will have it that the " grande 

FEB. i, 1883.] ROMEO AND JULIET. 93 

tragedienne" is, if truth were told, but a " grande saltimbanque'' 
after all. The fact is, Sarah is an unique combination of both. 
Hence, she is able to call in tumbling to the aid of tragedy, and 
bring the plastic arts to the portrayal of the passions ; to " flop" 
through four such acts as these night after night, and finish with a 
death-scene warranted correct, to the very last kick and quiver. 
Hence, in short, Sarah is able to do what no other woman living 
could do play Fedora. 

Romeo and Juliet. 

How is't, my soul ? Let's talk, it is not day !" Romeo and Juliet, Act //., Sc. v. 

T OST in the passion of a long embrace 

*-* Warm rapture lights each love- transfigured face, 

Entwin'd in one another's arms they cling 

Like rose-boughs waving in the breath of Spring ; 

Their liquid eyes with mystic meanings burn, 

Their kissed-curv'd lips unto each other turn, 

Their pulses thrill the blood leaps through their veins, 

And life seems reeling in their dizzy brains, 

They murmur pantingly and close they sigh, 

Swoon on each other's breast and seem to die, 

Then swift-reviving, lose themselves again 

In a wild transport of ecstatic pain ; 

Soul-maddened, tempest-tost, and passion-driven, 

Unfit for Earth, and unprepared for Heaven ! 


94 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

Miss Marion Terry. 

MISS MARION TERRY, whose photograph appears in this 
number of THE THEATRE, is the third of the four gifted 
sisters, of which Miss Kate (Mrs. Arthur Lewis) and Miss Ellen 
Terry are the first and second, and Miss Florence Terry the 
youngest. The subject of this record made her first appearance 
on the stage in July, 1873, at Manchester, in the late Mr. Tom 
Taylor's arrangement of " Hamlet." Though only in her 
eighteenth year, Miss Marion Terry played Ophelia on the 
occasion ; and on October 4 of the same year we find her 
making her first appearance in London at the Olympic Theatre, 
in " A Game of Romps." A few months afterwards she acted 
in a revival of " Much Ado About Nothing" at the same 
theatre. Miss Marion Terry was next engaged for the Strand 
Theatre, where she appeared as Clara Mayfield, in Mr. H. J. 
Byron's " Old Soldiers ;" as Lilian Gaythorne, in the same author's 
" Weak Woman ;" and in other characters. Her success at the 
Strand Theatre led to her being selected to play Dorothy, in Mr. 
W. S. Gilbert's " Dan'l Druce," on its production at the Hay- 
market Theatre, on September 1 1, 1876. On January 20 of the 
year following, at the same theatre, she acted Galatea in Mr. 
Gilbert's " Pygmalion and Galatea ;" and during this engagement 
she also appeared as Zeolide in " The Palace of Truth," and 
as Lydia in "The Love Chase." On October 3, 1877, also at 
the Haymarket Theatre, she acted Belinda Treherne, in the first 
representation of " Engaged ;" and she then played Florence 
Bristow, in " The Crushed Tragedian." Miss Marion Terry then 
migrated to the Olympic Theatre, where, on March 25, 1878, 
she appeared as the heroine in Mr. Gilbert's play, " The Vaga- 
bond." In August of the same year, during the absence of Miss 
Ellen Terry from the Court Theatre, she played Olivia, in the 
play of that name, founded by Mr. W. G. Wills on " The Vicar of 
Wakefield." In the following October she returned to the Olympic 
Theatre to act Louise in a revival of " The Two Orphans," and 
on Saturday (afternoon), November 8, she played the heroine in a 
drama, in five acts, by Mrs. Holford, entitled " Marie de Courcelles ; 


I seem as nothing in the mighty world.' 


FEB. i, 1883.] MISS MARION TERR Y. 95 

or, a Republican Marriage." On March 24, 1879, st ^l at tne 
Olympic, she impersonated the heroine in Mr. W. S. Gilbert's 
" Gretchen/' and on April 26 of the same year, during Mr. Frank 
Harvey's occupation of the theatre, she appeared in " Married 
Not Mated." Miss Marion Terry was next engaged by Mr. and 
Mrs. Bancroft, under whose management she played at the Prince 
of Wales's Theatre, making her first appearance there on Sep- 
tember 27, 1879, as Mabel Holne in "Duty," Mr. James 
Albery's adaptation of M. Sardou's " Les Bourgeois de Pont- 
Arcy." On November 22 following, at the same theatre, she 
played Blanche Haye in a revival of "Ours." On January r, 
1880, the opening night of the Haymarket Theatre, under the 
management of Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft, Miss Marion Terry acted 
Clara Douglas in " Money." In a revival of " School" at the 
same theatre, on May I following, she represented Bella, and on 
February 5, 1881, still at the Haymarket Theatre, she acted Mabel 
Vane in "Masks and Faces," and in the same revival she also 
played, later on, Peg Woffington. Miss Marion Terry then 
transferred her services to the Court Theatre, where she appeared 
on November 7, 1881, as Mimi in Mr. Dion Boucicault's play of 
that name, and on the 3Oth of the same month, in her original 
character of Belinda in " Engaged." She was then specially 
engaged to act Bathsheba Everdene in " Far from the Madding 
Crowd" in the first performance of that play at the Prince of 
Wales Theatre, Liverpool. Returning to the Court Theatre, she 
acted Gwendolin Pettigrew in the first representation of Mr. G. 
W. Godfrey's comedy, "The Parvenu," on April 8, 1882, and on 
the reproduction of the piece, on November 14 last, she reap- 
peared in her original character. On the occasion of the last 
appearance on the stage of Miss Florence Terry, which took place 
at the Savoy Theatre, on Wednesday afternoon, June 21, 1882, 
Miss Marion Terry acted Lady Hilda in Mr. Gilbert's " Broken 
Hearts/' and appeared as the clerk in the trial scene from " The 
Merchant of Venice." Miss Marion Terry played Lady Constance 
in the first performance of " Comrades," at the same theatre, on 
December 16, 1882. 

96 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

The New Costume Society and the 



'TpHE January number of Time contains a violent but, I ven- 
J- ture to think, somewhat misdirected attack on the above 
Society. Mr. A. H. Wall is evidently so genuinely concerned in 
the cause at which he tilts, that it may not be uninteresting to 
him to learn something of the Facts with whose shadows he battles 
with such Quixotic fervour. 

Mr. A. H. Wall starts upon the basis that the Costume Society 
is established for the purpose of " subordinating sentiment, feeling, 
and true dramatic effect to a hard, bald, dry, unsympathetic re- 
gard for archaeological correctness." As a matter of fact, the 
object of the Society (so far as the stage is concerned) is to aid 
the sentiment, the feeling, and the dramatic effect by encouraging 
archaeological correctness. Mr. A. H. Wall avers that it did not 
disturb the spectators of Shakespeare's plays " to find Brutus and 
Cassius wearing much the same kind of clothes as Bacon and 
Raleigh ;" nor did it signify that Garrick played Macbeth and 
Hamlet in silk stockings, knee-breeches, and powdered wig. Why 
not go further, and argue that Othello might as well appear in a 
white tie and patent leather boots ; and if played by a white 
man, why truckle to the vicious taste of a nineteenth-century 
audience by taking the trouble to black his face, in deference to 
a hard, bald, dry, unsympathetic regard for archaeological correct- 
ness ? But it is precisely because this unimaginative age refuses 
in the teeth of Mr. A. H. Wall to be contented with this 
mode of representation, that the Costume Society may find some 
scope for the exercise of its labours. That Mr. Planche did ex- 
cellent work in the same direction is not denied ; but that that work, 
in regard to its illustrations, is not invariably all that the require- 
ments of the time demand, is equally certain. The taste dis- 
played by Mr. Irving in the revivals at the Lyceum Theatre has 
undoubtedly had the effect of educating the public up to a certain 
standard of correctness ; and who shall say that these beautiful 
productions do not owe something to the decided advance in the 
matter of costume and general archaeological correctness ? 4 


Mr. Wall says that " Firstly, ' the play's the thing ;' secondly, 
the actor ; thirdly, scenery, costumes, and accessories." Precisely. 
But it has never been pretended by this Society that the cos- 
tumes should be of the first importance. Again, Mr. A. H. Wall 
appears to argue that, because Shakespeare committed some 
trivial anachronisms, therefore those anachronisms should be 
cherished by a grateful posterity, and emphasized by way of 
compliment to their illustrious author ! Such trivial anachronisms 
were, I venture to think, though Shakesperian, nevertheless faults, 
and arose from the author's want of local or technical information. 
Certainly not from a love of anachronism, for Shakespeare who, 
with the characteristic of true genius, was scrupulously and 
minutely correct, would have been the first to discard that which 
common sense condemns. Do we not on the contrary see in his 
works a marvellous regard for realistic detail ? And if Shakespeare 
as a manager did not dress his characters in the costumes of the 
period they were supposed to represent if his Romans wore 
Elizabethan dresses instead of Roman togas, the omission may 
have been less due to his contempt for the proprieties and dramatic 
unities, than to the fact that there existed in those days neither 
costumiers nor a Costume Society, to which latter I have every 
reason to believe that, had he lived, Shakespeare would have been 
one of the first subscribers. 

Where, then, is the line of correctness to be drawn ? It 
should clearly be the ambition of the actor to approach 
as nearly as possible in every respect to the character he 
is supposed to represent just as it should be that of the 
painter to reproduce on the canvas the truest picture of his 
subject. Nothing indeed could better illustrate this necessity than 
the charming collection of anecdotes which form the greater part of 
Mr. A. H. Wall's attack on the Costume Society. According to the 
opinion of this gentleman, it would be ridiculous in the representa- 
tion of an old comedy " to wear full-bottomed wigs and buttons as 
big as apples, while passionately making love to belles in head- 
dresses four stories high." But here again the amiable writer will find, 
on reference to the plays belonging to this particular epoch, that 
the exaggerated costumes and coiffures then prevailing accurately 
reflected the spirit, the sentiment, and the artificial manners of 
the time, and can therefore only have the effect of aiding the 
imagination of the intelligent and not wholly ignorant spec- 

98 THE THE A TRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

tator. How often do we not even now witness the spectacle 
on the stage of a " Juliet" or " Pauline" whose costume suggests 
nothing so much as the gala apparel of a nineteenth-century Opera 
Bouffe actress ? 

That archaeological correctness should ever take precedence 
of dramatic effect would indeed be highly lamentable. But 
in such an event it may be confidently hoped that some 
avenging scourge will arise, whose mighty army shall scatter 
the ranks of usurping Realists, and rear above their mangled 
corpses a victorious banner, emblazoned with the Rules and 
Regulations of the Royal Society of British Anachronists ! 

Going to see the Pantomime. 

?r p\VAS an afternoon performance of the pantomime, and I 
1 Caught enjoyment from the rapture of the merry children by, 

And the plaudits and commotion 

Bringing back an old emotion 
Made me boyish, till a picture turned my laughter to a sigh. 

Twas a picture poem story yea, a tragedy amid 
All the pantomimic fooling 'twas a girlish feature hid 
In the shadow of a shoulder 
Where a mother did enfold her 
Twas a girlish feature smiling, but alas, beneath the lid 

Was a void as blank as darkness she was blind lo all the play, 
She was blind to all the antics, all the splendour and display ; 
And the keen-eyed youngsters round her 
Never guessed that blindness bound her 
In that shadow of the shoulder where she turned her face away. 

But the mother fleetly whispereii ev'ry novelty in view, 
All the dancing, marching, grouping, and the pointed humour too, 
And the fair-haired nestled daughter 
Smiled at what the whispers taught her, 
While the music and the dancing deftly inner visions drew. 


They were visions more enchanted than the artist's painted scene, 
More entrancing than the pictures seeing child had ever seen, 

Airy, fanciful, unreal, 

Painted by her young ideal, 
But to her a wondrous haven in a wondrous clime serene. 

Yet the sightless joy was touching, deeply touching to behold 
All the features animated, yet the seat of smiling, cold ; 
All the girlish beauty glowing, 
Flaxen hair about her flowing 
Yet between her gleaming lashes unillumined darkness rolled. 

Once the boist'rous children shouted, laughed and shouted at the prank 
Of a dancer as he dangled his long limbs so lean and lank. 
This the mother tried to teach her, 
But the motion could not reach her 
Then she wept because the humour to her darling was a blank. 

But a smile outshone the weeping when her tearful eyes beheld 
How her darling comprehended other humour that compelled 

Boys to roll in random laughter 

And the girls to titter after 
Oh, a smile with greater sweetness ne'er against a grief rebelled. 

What relief to see them joyous, see the daughter self-beguiled, 
What a joy to note the mother smile whene'er her darling smiled ; 

And to see, as both were going, 

Each a kiss of love bestowing 
What a picture to remember, that fond mother and her child ! 


ioo THE THE A TRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

In the Provinces. 


T N a hurried tour through several of our leading theatrical 
-L towns to see the Christmas productions in the provinces, I have 
been struck by two facts. The first is the completeness and brilli- 
ancy with which some managers produce their pieces, and the second 
is the rapid decline in public favour of the music-hall element 
introduced into pantomimes. For general excellence I would 
especially point out the brilliant representations given this season 
at the Grand Theatre, Leeds, the Grand Theatre, Glasgow, the 
Alexandra Theatre, Liverpool, and the Theatre Royal, Manchester. 
All these theatres vie with each other in magnificence and capital 
management. The pantomime at the Grand, Leeds, was the first 
of the provincial ones which I witnessed, and no more beautiful 
setting for an elaborate stage production could be chosen than 
Mr. Wilson Barrett's superb theatre. It is, indeed, a beautiful 
building, and I envy the good people of Leeds the possession of so 
fine a theatrical house. Mr. Wilton Jones' libretto of the panto- 
mime " Robinson Crusoe" sparkles with wit and humour, and 
the title-role is taken by Miss Fannie Leslie, who gives a charm- 
ingly sympathetic performance. All the scenery is capital ; in 
particular, the dazzling beauty of a scene called the " Golden 
Island," painted by Mr. Stafford Hall. 

After a nine hours' railway journey, through miles of country 
under water, I found myself in Edinburgh, with the rain pouring 
in torrents, and it was more than a relief to be seated in 
the comfortable Theatre Royal, enjoying another version of 
" Robinson Crusoe," remarkable for its real pantomimic fun 
and freedom from vulgarity. Mr. J. B. Howard has selected 
a good company of actors and actresses, and the result is 
that the entertainment is a success, made all the better and 
brighter for the presence of crowds of children, who can be taken 
to enjoy themselves without fear of their being taught vulgarity 
or something worse. Miss Carrie Lee Stoyle an experienced 
and clever actress plays Robinson with grace and vivacity, and 

FEB. i, 1883.] IN THE PROVINCES. 101 

a graceful representative of Polly is found in Miss Susie Montague. 
Miss Lily Meredith sings very pleasingly in the character of 
Hibernia, and Mr. Sidney Harcourt is legitimately funny as Will 
Atkins. A children's dance of dolls is much appreciated in this 
production, which is distinctly an acting pantomime well acted. 
At the Princess's Theatre, in the same city, " Les Manteaux Noirs'* 
was being performed by a good company, in which the chief 
honours were carried off by Miss Emma Beasley, who was very 
successful as Girola. Miss Madge Stavart was pleasing as the 
Queen, and Miss Julia St. George made a charming Clorinda. 
Whilst in Edinburgh I saw the site of the new theatre which is to 
be built for Mr. J. B. Howard and Mr. Fred. Wyndham (Mr. 
Howard, as is well known, is the present lessee of the Edinburgh 
Theatre Royal, and Mr. Wyndham is a son of the former lessee). 
The new building is to be in Grindlay Street, which is situated in 
the west end of the town, and the architect is Mr. R. Rowand 
Anderson, A.R.S.A. It is hoped that the new theatre will be 
ready in September, in which case it will be opened by Mr. Henry 
Irving before he goes to America, and it is interesting to note 
that substantial support has been given to the theatre both by 
Mr. Irving and Mr. J. L. Toole. 

" Oh ! poor Robinson Crusoe," I murmured, when I found 
myself in the spacious Grand Theatre, Glasgow, witnessing 
another performance of the same story. But fortunately 
for me, the pantomime was so gorgeously placed upon the 
stage, that the eye never weaned of the beautiful pictures ; 
and even at the Alhambra I have seldom seen anything 
to surpass the splendour of this spectacle. When watching 
this elaborate production there is scarcely time to admire the acting 
which, indeed, is entirely dwarfed by the stage-effects. Miss 
Emily Spiller is the Robinson Crusoe, and Miss Laura Clement 
sings beautifully in a rather small part. A humorous Widow 
Crusoe is Mr. John S. Chamberlain also the stage-manager of 
this wonderful exhibition and quaint representatives of Will 
Atkins and the Captain are found in Mr. Sidney Hayes and Mr. 
J. B. Gordon. The Glasgow Gaiety Theatre pantomime is 
" Beauty and the Beast/' and, if rather dull on the whole, it is well 
worth seeing if only for the sake of the unctuous and unforced 
humour of Mr. George Cecil Murray, in a Scotch part. Miss Irene 
Verona gives a spirited bit of acting, and Mr. C. J. Hayge is good 

102 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

as a demon. "Little Red Riding Hood" at the Princess's 
Theatre, Glasgow, appeared to me to be chiefly noticeable for the 
imbecility and vulgarity of the libretto, and the poorness of the 
stage-management Miss Katie Ryan, as Boy Blue, is bright and 
fascinating, full of life and vigour, and a charming, if quiet, Miss 
Muffit comes from Miss Nellie Burdette. Little Katie Neville 
acts cleverly as Little Red Riding Hood, Miss Marion Huntley 
plays prettily as Jill Warner, and Jack Horner is made very at- 
tractive by Miss Florence Harrington. I do not like men in 
women's clothes on the stage, but I must admit that the Mother 
Hubbard of Mr. Ramsey Danvers is not only a really humorous 
representation, but a clever and artistic success. His performance 
is spoiled, nevertheless, by an unnecessary piece of well, down- 
right vulgarity in which he indulges with a figure of her Majesty 
the Queen and another, during the procession scene. At the 
Royalty Theatre, Glasgow, " Fun on the Bristol" was being played 
at Christmas time. 

Coming to Liverpool I found another treat in store for me by 
the production at the Alexandra Theatre, of " Blue-Beard," the 
only pantomime on the subject this year. Mr. Edward Saker 
has evidently spared no expense over the entertainment ; and 
Mr. John Brunton has excelled himself in the beauty of his 
painting. Nothing more artistic in its way than the Fairy Glade 
in summer, which, by a wonderful mechanical arrangement, changes 
to a scene representing the depth of winter, has been seen. The 
bombardment of Alexandria is another fine tableau, and the whole 
thing is capitally done. Selim is played by Miss Nellie Bouverie, 
one of the brightest and sharpest of our burlesque actresses. She 
is never still for a moment when she is on the stage, and her life 
and gaiety seem inexhaustible. Miss Kate Lovell, as Fatima, 
succeeds in being interesting and very charming. Miss Fanny 
Mariott is irresistibly funny as Pertina, and Miss Agnes Milnes is 
pleasing as the fairy. Yet again " Robinson Crusoe," at the cosy 
little Prince of Wales Theatre, in Clayton Square, where the hero 
is played with refinement and art by Miss Lilian Francis, and 
where Miss Constance Moxon sings with taste and feeling. Mr. 
W. Morgan is funny as Will Atkins, and a special feature is made 
of some real animals which are introduced into the pantomime. 
Captain Bainbridge gave a season of six weeks of the Carl Rosa 
Opera Company at the Court Theatre a handsome and valuable 

FEB. i, 1883.] IN THE PROVINCES. 103 

building and the engagement as I write continues to be brilliantly 

From Liverpool I went to Manchester, where I had the good 
fortune to see Miss Retta Walton playing the hero in " Sinbad" 
in place of the lady engaged for the part, who was ill and capitally 
she played it too. Her unaffected and spirited acting was most 
enjoyable, and she gave a capital rendering of the character. But 
a large share of the honours fell to Mr. J. L. Shine, as Thinbad, a 
good performance by a promising comedian. Miss Alice Burville 
was charming as Zorilda ; and Mr. George Walton, Mr. Julian 
Cross, and Mr. Lionel Rignold, played well in other parts. 
"Little Robin Hood" was given at the Prince's Theatre, with 
nearly the same cast as on its original production at the London 
Gaiety. A capital acting pantomime is that of " Beauty and the 
Beast," written by Mr. John F. McArdle, for the Manchester Queen's 
Theatre. Perhaps Miss Lottie Harcourt was most successful of 
all the company, and she certainly deserves much praise for the 
manner in which she acted and elaborated a small part, and made 
it, by her able performance, a chief and valuable feature of the 
production. In Mr. Fred. Ferrani the management had secured 
not only a tenor singer with a sweet and pleasing voice, but a 
tenor who can act as well as he can sing a rare combination 
for the two qualities of singing and acting are not often found 
together. Mdlle. Emilie Petrelli sang prettily as the Beauty ; 
Miss Elise Grey was too charming to be a cruel, wicked witch ; 
and Miss Evelyn Maitland was an interesting and pleasing repre- 
sentative of a fairy. 

Nottingham was the next town that I visited, and after a journey 
through part of the "black country," with its smoke and weird 
fires, it was refreshing to find so charming a representative of 
Cinderella the heroine of Mr. Thomas W. Charles's pantomime 
at the Theatre Royal as Miss Ethel Pierson. She raised the 
part, in spite of itself, from the level of pantomime to that of 
comic opera (" comic" opera so-called in order to distinguish it 
from " grand" opera), and invested the character with a charm 
and grace which is seldom met with in such cases. And not 
only did Miss Pierson act so well, but she sang enchantingly, her 
rendering of the pretty ballad, " Dreaming," being beautiful. Miss 
Lizzie Mulholland made a splendid Prince Paragon, and the other 
characters were well performed. 

104 THE THE A TRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

Birmingham boasts this year of two pantomimes on the subject 
of " Sinbad the Sailor." That at the Theatre Royal has been 
written by Mr. Frank W. Green, and is an excellent work. Miss 
Grace Huntley plays Sinbad with grace and spirit, Miss Margaret 
Soulby is attractive as the Fairy, and Miss Jennie Walton is 
bright and vivacious as Hafiz. The burden of the pantomime 
falls upon Mr. Fred. J. Stinson, who makes a hit by his able and 
enjoyable comedy. The other " Sinbad," that at the Prince of 
Wales's Theatre, is not, to my mind, a very brilliant one, and it is 
spoiled by the introduction of music-hall "favourites." I. for one, 
cannot see the humour of Mr. Witty Watty Walton, the grace of 
Miss Rense Roby, or the especial qualifications for the stage of 
Miss Marie Loftus. The efforts of Mr. John Wainwright, a good 
actor, and Miss Helena Lisle, a capable actress, were smothered 
by the opposing music-hall " taient." 

" Dick Whittington and his Cat" is the title of the annual at 
the Bristol New Theatre. Mr. C. H. Stephenson has produced a 
good book, and the scenery surpasses anything previously wit- 
nessed on these boards. Miss Julia Warden as Dick is a great 
favourite, her vivacious acting and delightful singing winning the 
hearty approval of many admirers. Alice is played by Miss Amy 
Grundy, a painstaking actress, who gives a lively and natural 
rendering of her part. Her singing and acting are alike good. 
Mr. H. Lewens is a reliable actor, and makes up well as Sir John 
Fitzwarren. Mr. George Thorne creates no end of amusement as 
Jack Idle. Mr. Mark Barraud, who has long been connected with 
this theatre, has produced an admirable scene of Old Cheapside, 
and another beautiful picture of the seacoast of Morocco. At 
the Old Theatre Royal, Bristol, Mr. Andrew Melville has 
produced what proved a successful pantomime, entitled "The 
Three Jacks Jack in the Box, Jack Horner, and Jack the Giant- 
killer," which is full of a variety of attractions which are highly 
appreciated. Mr. Alfred Whyatt has charge of the scenic depart- 
ment, and a considerable amount of praise should be given to him 
for his painting. The management selected an actress of no 
mean ability in Miss Emily Randall, who plays Jack the Giant- 
killer. This lady gives a most acceptable rendering of the part 
and sings and dances skilfully. 


' Happy thought ! Just like me. ' 



Francis Cowley Burnand. 


I WAS born on November 29, 1836. In due course I was sent 
to Eton, where I wrote a farce, and acted in it at my tutor's, 
the Rev. W. G. Cookesley's. Thence, after an interval of severe 
illness, followed by some very pleasant months of private tutelage, 
I went up to Trinity College, Cambridge. Here I started the 
A.D.C., or Amateur Dramatic Club, which ib still flourishing.* 
H.R.H. the Prince of Wales became Honorary President of 
the Club. Three or four gentlemen now playing in the best 
London companies came from the A.D.C. It was not, however, 
meant to be a nursery for the stage, but simply a social recreation 
for theatrically-inclined undergraduates who did not care about 
the formalities and restraints of the mock Parliament represented 
by the debating society known as " The Union." Among the 
more volatile undergraduates there was as strong an objection as 
there is among the respectable poor against "entering the 
Union." About my degree time I became studious, but still 
more so after I had taken my degree, when I " stopped up" to 
read, in order to settle whether my profession should be, not 
" Church or Stage," but Church or Bar ; and after a year's 
anxious consideration given exclusively to the former, I ulti- 
mately decided, after another brief but important interval, in 
favour of the latter (what an escape Church-goers have had !) ; 
and having previously qualified myself by " eating" most of " my 
terms," I finished the remainder, attended lectures at the Temple, 
read with a conveyancer, was " called" by Lincoln's Inn, com- 
menced practice at the Middlesex Sessions, worked with a 
Common Law junior, was utterly disillusioned, made a few 
appearances at the Old Bailey, two at Westminster, and was an 
occasional visitor to the committee rooms of the House of Com- 
mons, to which attractive business I should most certainly have 
stuck to had it not been that I had already begun to earn a fair 

* For deiails see my " History of the A.D.C.," published by Chapman. 

io6 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

sum by my pen, and this being, at that time, a far more seductive 
modus vivendi for an impecunious young gentleman of a sanguine 
and impulsive temperament, with a young wife and a " commenc- 
ing" family, the halls of Westminster saw me no more, and I 
have, of course, no doubt that a distinguished legal luminary, or 
at all events a wealthy Parliamentary barrister, was there and. then 
lost to the world. Still, if Mr. Anthony Trollope did not begin his 
novel writing till he was forty, and if Mr. Richardson, the author 
of " Sir Charles Grandison" and " Pamela," did not commence 
his literary career till he had turned fifty, perhaps there might be 
some chance for me in the New Law Courts, where, on the open- 
ing day, I resumed, for the space of three hours, my " full forensic 
costume." When I think of an eminent Q.C. who was once a 
Guardsman, of a Cardinal who was in the Household Cavalry, 
and of many more wonderful changes effected quite in mid- 
career, and attended with the greatest possible success I I 
am inclined to well, to remain as I am ; and if I can get an 
occasional " Colonel," a " Black- Eyed Susan," an " Our Club," 
"Family Ties," a " Diplunacy," a "Turn of the Tide," a 
" Corsican Bros. & Co.," and a few " Happy Thoughts" to visit 
me from time to time, I shall have no great cause to complain. 
Between eighty and a hundred of my pieces have been published. I 
saw in a review of Mr. Archer's " Dramatists" which I have not yet 
read that the fact of authors having published in such a form as 
" Lacy's Acting Edition" proves how low they themselves rated 
the literary value of their work. Speaking for myself, I availed 
myself of the only evident means of publication then existing. 
My first object was to get what I could, which was not as much 
as it ought to have been, and I was utterly ignorant and compa- 
ratively careless, as were most of us then, I believe, concerning 
the distinction between acting-right and copy-right both here and 
in America ; and was only too glad to sell when everybody 
else, as far as I knew, sold, and to get the same price as other 
dramatic authors received which was precious little, I know ; 
but in those primitive days any earnings were sweet, and to make 
money at all was a delightful and almost overpowering surprise. 
Thus it was that I lost all command over " Ixion" and other 
similar burlesques of mine in America, where performing com- 
panies were making pots of money out of them, playing them 
all over the States. The most successful company in this line 


was under an English manager bless him. When I once 
understood the pecuniary value of this kind of work, I ceased to 
publish. It is wrong to suppose that " Lacy's Acting Edition" 
had not a big sale. It had ; and I should think the publisher who 
purchased our copyrights made about three or four hundred per 
cent, by the transaction, especially if at the same time he had 
found somebody as inexperienced as myself to sell the actin? 
rights as well. I did this with more than one piece written by 
me at Cambridge, which, when I was looking about to see where 
the money was to be picked up in London, I was glad to part 
with for a few pounds to Lacy ; and one of these, " Villikens and 
his Dinah,'' was played (unknown to me) in various country 
theatres long before my first piece was produced in town, and 
had already brought in a tidy sum to its astute purchaser, the 

How we were done, right and left, in those days of small sums 
done for all sorts of rights which not the most recently-started 
dramatic author among us ever thinks of parting with now ! I 
think Mr. Dion Boucicault, as author, actor, and manager, let in 
the light on the relative position of author and manager. It was 
he who explained to me the just and equitable arrangement of 

My connection with Punch began about seventeen years ago. 
I had begun on Fun, just then started, in company with Tom 
Hood, jun., H. J. Byron, J. Prowse, W. S. Gilbert, Brunton, and. 
Mat Morgan. I suggested the scheme of a burlesque serial the 
first in that particular form to indicate the sensational style of 
to-day, and to imitate the London Journal frontispiece. The Fun 
proprietor, a looking-glass dealer, didn't " see it ;" whereupon I 
wrote to Mark Lemon, who did ; and within a month I was on 
the staff of Punch, and sitting at the historic table with Mark 
Lemon, Shirley Brooks, Horace Mayhew, John Leech, Charles 
Keene, Percival Leigh, Tom Taylor, and W. M. Thackeray, who 
introduced me as "the new boy." H<zc olini mcminisse juvabit. I 
shall never forget Thackeray at the Punch table, and when enter- 
taining the Punch staff in his own house. 

Of my work on Punch there were two or three serials before I 
hit on " Happy Thoughts," which, when subsequently published, 
soon went through fifteen editions, and its success astonished no one 
more than myself. I am told that the most succesful of my paro- 

I 2 

io8 THE THEA TRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

dies was " Strapmore," by Weeder, and that went through seven 
editions within a fortnight. A close parody requires the most 
careful work, and the author's peculiarities cannot be entirely 
mastered from one book. Not until I find myself writing an 
ordinary letter in the style of the author I have been studying do 
I feel quite sure that I can safely start the parody. The new 
" Sandford and Merton/' admirably illustrated by Mr. Linley 
Sambourne, was very popular, and we've got another on the tapis. 
" Across the Dark Continent" was extracted from Punch and sold 
as a pamphlet in America. A friend of mine returning from the 
States told me that its sale had been immense. This was gratify- 
ing, of course. " Happy Thoughts " was translated into Dutch. 
How it went I don't know. It looked very funny. I suppose 
that with my brother dramatic authors for 'tis as a dramatic 
author that my likeness is exhibited here I have done my full 
share of journalism, and written on all sorts of subjects, from 
Shakespeare to the musical glasses. If the foregoing sketchy 
kind of biography, jerkily put together, will interest some of your 
readers you are welcome to it. With best wishes for the future of 
your magazine, 

I remain, yours truly, 




A New and Original Comedy, in Three Acts, by BRANDON THOMAS, and B. C. STEPHENSON. 
Produced at the Court Theatre, Saturday, December 16, 1882. 

General Sir George Dex- 
ter, K.C.B. ... 
Arthur Dexter 
Captain Darleigh, V.C. 
Doctor Gumbletou 
The Hon. Penley Chiver 
Tom Stirrup 
Mr. Blackett 



Timothy Hopper . . . 

Lady Constance Birk- 

Lady Dexter 

Miss Grant 


.. Miss CARLOTTA Au- 


.. Miss ERSKINE. 
.. Miss MERRILL. 

THIS successful play may be likened to a jewel with a 
flaw in it ; though the blemish is one which will scarcely 
be noticed by the ordinary spectator, unless the undoubtedly 
existing fault be pointed out by an expert. The reason why the 
flaw in the play does not injure its effect on the stage is, that the 
mistake is outbalanced by merits, and leads up to very moving 

FEB. i, 1883.] COMRADES. IO9 

situations and to strongly emotional positions. With an audience, 
the cunning of the scene outweighs an improbability. To the 
critic, the blunder of the play is almost too serious ; but with the 
mass of spectators the heart stands up and answers, " I have felt." 
The drama of " Comrades" has heart in it. It has passages that 
are moving, stirring, working, warm with emotion and quick with 
pathos ; and playgoers will overlook much if they be impressed 
and touched. There are moments in " Comrades" which may 
beguile men of their tears ; and the drama, though it may be 
that it interests piecemeal, instead of working through a continuous 
thread of story, yet does interest ; and it was enthusiastically 
received on the first night by an audience that was genuinely 
pleased and excited. The play has not been over-cordially wel- 
comed by the critics. They saw strongly and clearly its defects, 
and they pointed these out without, one would think, sufficiently re- 
cognizing its good points. " Comrades" is the work of a very young 
playwright, Mr. Brandon Thomas, an actor at, I believe, the St. 
James's Theatre. ' Mr. Thomas has had the assistance of the 
more experienced Mr. B. C. Stephenson, the clever adapter of 
" Impulse ;" but it is a little surprising that this piece should 
have had such help, since the faults in it are precisely those 
which a practised playwright would, one would think,- have 

Sir George Dexter is an old general, with a tender wife and 
a promising son a son who will follow in his father's foot- 
steps and be a soldier ; but Sir George has been married once 
before, and was left a widower with one son. For some (in the 
play) inexplicable reason, he will not mention his first marriage 
to his second wife ; and he even allows his eldest son to grow 
up bearing another name than that of Dexter, and exposed to 
the taint of the bar-sinister. This improbability to put the case 
mildly struck one almost immediately, but was forgotten during 
some strong positions, very powerfully acted ; and then one 
always expected that Sir George's morbid action would be ex- 
plained as the play went on. It was, however, never explained ; 
and the authors would have done better to have trusted to the 
romance and pathos of illegitimacy. Lady Dexter might have 
been represented as a fantastic loving wife, who had vowed 
never to give her love to a husband who had loved another 
woman. When, in a play, a sane man behaves like a maniac, 

1 10 THE THE A TRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

there is strong need of dramatic explanation ; and the want of 
It leaves a confused stain which runs all through the web of the 

Captain Darleigh, whose happiness is almost wrecked by a 
belief that he is illegitimate, is the " Elder Brother" of the olden 
dramatists. Invited, as a regimental comrade, by his younger 
brother to his father's house, the gallant soldier of fortune wins 
the love of Lady Constance ; but, when he learns the blot which, 
as he is led to believe, rests upon his birth, he thinks himself no 
mate for the high-born beauty, and, in a scene of passion and of 
power, he withdraws his pretensions, and abandons the hope of 
marriage. His father, in another fine scene, refuses to tell his son 
the truth about his birth ; and though Darleigh learns from Tom 
Stirrup the fact that his mother was honourably married, all his 
hopes and all his life seem wrecked. The war-trumpet blows, 
and the two sons sail for an Indian campaign. Darleigh wins a 
second time the Victoria Cross ; though the reward of valour is 
inexplicably given to the younger brother, whose life Darleigh 
saves, and the 'brothers return to England, home and beauty, the 
General being, meanwhile, very ill, In his delirium the old 
warrior tells his wife the long-hidden secret of his early marriage, 
and Lady Dexter spontaneously and generously welcomes Darleigh 
as the elder son. A projected marriage between Lady Constance 
and the younger brother is swept aside by a flood of rising passion; 
and, the truth being fully known, Lady Constance and her noble 
lover fall into each other's arms, and the prescience of a moved 
audience hears the coming sound of wedding bells. 

Such, in very brief, is the outline of the story of the play. Of 
its episodes no mention is made here ; nor do we allude to that 
unhappy dog. The drama it is a drama rather than a comedy 
is admirably acted. The first honours belong to Mr. Coghlan, 
whose personation of the hero is really splendid acting. He is 
excellent in his masterly delineation of repressed passion and sup- 
pressed emotion ; for, though passion and emotion are always indi- 
cated, they are never loudly expressed. Mr. Coghlan's art 
conceals the appearance of art. His Darleigh is gallant, high- 
hearted, chivalrous and honourable. It is, perhaps, an excess of 
punctilious tenderness which leads Darleigh, without proper ex- 
planation, to break with Lady Constance, and to risk the happiness 
of her life by leaving her to think that " another woman" is the 

FEB. i, 1883.] COMRADES. 1 1 1 

cause of his conduct ; but the authors have depicted this somewhat 
overstrained scruple of delicate feeling, and Mr. Coghlan interprets 
their intentions admirably. His game-of-chess love-scene with the 
lady is delightfully acted. His two great scenes with Lady Constance 
and with his secretive father are full of subtle power and of quiet 
passion. Mr. Coghlan has a singular art in suggesting a reserve of 
latent force of character and of will. He indicates depth below 
the surface. You feel that, if the play took a tragic turn that if 
murder, even, became necessary the man would be there. He 
has a strength beyond that of the " young first man ;" and this 
subdued power lends value to his impersonations generally, and, 
specially, to that of Captain Darleigh. He plays a strong and 
tender man ; with tenderness veiling strength. Miss Marion 
Terry is graceful and gentle as Lady Constance, and acts the 
chess love-scene with delicious naivete ; but why should she go 
out of her way to dress so badly ? Miss Erskine, if she do not 
make all the points that Mrs. Gaston Murray would have made, 
yet succeeds in an absolute realization of the quaint character 
that she plays. Mr. Clayton lends all due weight and dignity to 
the General, who bears about with him the burden and the weight of 
an oppressive secret. Miss Carlotta Addison, though she cannot look 
matronly enough, plays Lady Dexter with feeling and with force. 
That accomplished artist, Mr. Arthur Cecil, is to be pitied in a part 
so fatuous and so feeble. Mr. Kemble, as an old army doctor, is 
thoroughly satisfactory. There is an admirable little rustic boy, 
who, also,, will be a soldier, and is amusingly rendered by Master 
Phillips. Mr. Mackintosh, whose Gunnion proved him to be an 
actor of high and rare merit in character parts, made of Tom 
Stirrup, the Irish ex-dragoon, a distinct creation ; and his life- 
like, energetic rendering of this somewhat difficult part was 
invaluable to the success of the play. Mr. D. G. Boucicault is 
pleasant and genial in the part of the younger brother, Arthur. 

The writers of " Comrades" have worked in earnest, and 
the dialogue is simple, direct and to the purpose. Their work 
has no air of artificiality or trick. The general characteristics of 
the play are sincerity and strength. The scene in the second 
act a wintry landscape and a corner in which a shooting party 
is to meet for lunch deserves a word of distinct praise. The 
tone is so finely felt and so well maintained that the scene rises 
to the dignity of a picture. 

ii2 THE THE A TRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

" Comrades" teaches a lesson to critics. It shows that a play r 
strong in dramatic vitality, can live down a strong defect. The 
blemish in the work has been a lightning-conductor for critics, 
but it is almost atoned for by the results which follow, and by a 
passionate appeal to the human heart. The play should be seen, 
if it were only for the sake of the power and repose of the 
light touch and serious purpose of Mr. Coghlan's finished and 
forcible acting as Captain Darleigh. 


A Play in Four Acts, by W. G. WILLS. Founded on the novel of the same name by Miss Charlotte Bronte. 
First produced at the Globe Theatre, Saturday, December 23, 1882. 

Jane Eyre MRS. BERNARD-BEERE. I Bertha 

Lady Ingram 
Blanche Ingram 
Mary Ingram 
Miss Beechey 
Mrs. Fairfax 
Grace Poole 



Mr. Rochester 
Lord Desmond 
Rev. Mr. Prior 
Nat Lee ... 


" T ANE EYRE" is a curious example of a play which, without 
being deficient in strong dramatic situations, without lack- 
ing the poetical sweetness and tenderness which must always 
more or less distinguish the work of the author of " Olivia" and 
" Charles I.," still at its conclusion leaves the spectator dis- 
satisfied. It is as though, during the working out of the drama, 
Mr. Wills had been conscious of an idea which he has never been 
able to grasp a life-study of which he has been unable to get at 
the heart. 

The first act seems to have been written more for the purpose 
of placing the various characters, with their several aims and 
ideas of life, before us, than with that of making them rivet our 
attention as well. But this is perhaps pardonable, and it is so 
contrived that when the curtain falls the general feeling is that of 
expectation. It rises again on the library of Thornfield, where 
Mr. Rochester is seated, anxiously waiting to have his fears con- 
firmed as to whether or no Mason is already in England. His 
doubts having been proved groundless, one notices, little by little, 
his growing admiration for Jane. The contrast of feeling between 
Blanche Ingram and Jane, when he tells them of serious money 
losses which have just befallen him, is sharply and cleverly 
defined. Nor must the comedy scene, when Jane asks her 

FEB. i, 1883.] JANE E YRE. 1 1 3 

master's permission to leave for a few days, and the consequent 
badinage about the money be forgotten, so admirably is the effect 
of playful determination, combined with the tenderness of her 
farewell, conveyed by Mrs. Bernard-Beere. Passing over the sub- 
sequent comparatively unimportant events, we come to the gipsy 
scene, where Rochester, in disguise, tells the fortunes of those 
present, and lastly that of Jane, whose thoughts and desires he 
unsparingly reveals. They are left alone. She kneels at his feet 
in the moonlight, his words altogether engrossing her whole soul 
and mind ; but scarcely does the truth begin to dawn upon her as 
to who the man is, when Rochester tears off his disguise with the 
words, " Jane, don't you know me ?" What a fine situation could 
this be made ! The girl not daring to realize what she has been 
betrayed into saying ; the man possessing the assurance of her 
love, her affection, which nothing can take from him. But it is 
not so. We expect more than we get. All Rochester does 
is to say that he has obtained another situation for her, 
which arouses Jane into an all but open confession of her love 
for him, when suddenly the recollection of his engagement 
with Blanche Ingram flashes upon her mind. Surely the sub- 
sequent entrance of Blanche is a mistake dramatically and 
ethically considered ? No woman in her position would have 
reasoned and preached in the way she does. Neither is it 
possible that Rochester would have allowed the girl for whom he 
had conceived such a mad passion, to be so insulted in his presence. 
Now follows a scene which, for its strength, its beauty, and 
its perfect harmony to nature, could not be well surpassed. The 
man, by the influence of his great love, makes Jane's doubts and 
fears vanish, and compels her, by the strength of his nature, to 
yield to him her life and soul. The names of " master" and 
" servant" fade away ; and when he has left her, what can be a 
more perfect picture than that which this woman makes ? Her 
existence one supreme joy her whole life expressed in the words, 
" He is mine now ; no one can take him from me." Brighter and 
brighter do her thoughts become ; her soul is full of a gladness 
almost too great, too deep for words, when suddenly a scream 
pierces her ear, followed by the most hideous laughter imaginable. 
Again does it come, but it seems to come nearer and nearer. Oh 
God ! what can it be ? Is there no one to help her, no one to 
shelter her ? and crying out, " Edward, save me !" she falls down 

H4 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

in a dead swoon, just at the moment when a sliding-door in the 
panel of the wall is slowly pushed aside, and from it comes a 
creature so horrible, so loathsome, that the mind is literally 
spell-bound as the creature advances, with awful gesticulations 
and groans, towards the prostrate girl. The maniac's hand 
is just on her throat, when the door opens, and Rochester 
rushes in. In a second he is between them. Under his influence the 
maniac crouches towards the door, muttering and growling like an 
animal baffled of its prey, and with his arms clasped round the 
girl with the words, " Jane, my darling ! you are safe," the curtain 
falls. It is impossible to describe the horror of this scene, it must 
be seen to be appreciated. On the first night the situation was 
jeopardized by the irritatingly calm entrance of Mr. Kelly. At such 
a moment no influence but that of the most exciting kind could 
have been upon Rochester. In no case would any man much 
less one who loved the girl have entered in such a cool deliberate 
way, or, having entered, have treated the appalling catastrophe 
with such sang-froid. Here it is where "natural acting" errs 
against Nature. In real life a Rochester would have acted here, 
or he would have belied his passionate nature. This is the 
one blot on a situation, which in all other respects leaves 
nothing to be desired. The third act takes place in the 
same room. Rochester has gone to London for a day, and 
Jane is left alone, utterly broken down in health and spirits, but 
happy beyond all words in the belief of her master's love for her. 
It is strange that Mr. Wills has thought it necessary to introduce 
Lady Ingram and her two daughters, Blanche and Mary, to tell the 
fearful secret of Rochester's marriage. Surely Blanche, having 
been the one to witness the arising of Jane's love, ought to have 
been the only one who had it in her power to pronounce the words 
which would kill and ruin it. Failing her, the priggish parson 
might have taken the task on his shoulders, but so serious a 
revelation would scarcely be the subject of a polite morning call ! 
Jane is told the truth. The "dear master" is married. She is 
left alone with utter hopelessness and bewilderment staring 
her in the face. No ! no ! it cannot, it must not be true ; 
and yet what about the letter she holds in her hand ? To 
whom can she turn ? Who is there that will stretch out a 
helping hand to rescue her from this awful darkness which has 
enveloped her body and soul ? She is even more desolate and 

FEB. i, 1883.] -JANE EYRE. 115 

alone than when she first came to Thornfield, for then though 
she had hone to protect her from the hardships and privations of 
her life none to guide and comfort her she did not feel this 
strange ache at her heart no voice sounded in her ears no face 


was ever before her eyes of a man in whose life is now centred 
her whole existence. Love, in those days, was to her a mystery, 
a thing to be wondered at, scarcely to be believed, so completely 
had it ever been estranged from her life. The awful sorrow is 
rapidly making all remembrance drift and fade away from her, 
when her eye falls on the letter she holds in her hand. It must 
be answered its statement must be either confirmed or denied. 
How in her -present frame of mind can she confront this man, who, 
perchance, has as wilfully played with her life, as a child with its 
toy ? Stay ! she must be calm ! she must think of what is before 
her. This is no time for giving way love must be put on one 
side; and pride must take its place, making her for the moment 
strong in her determination to know the truth. Thought upon 
thought arises as to who shall tell it her till suddenly, in a 
second, Blanche Ingram's words echo in her ears, " In that letter 
you will find a person referred to Grace Poole by name why 
not demand the truth from her ?" A mist comes before her eyes, 
a dead faintness at her heart. 

Who so \vell able to tell her as Grace Poole, the guardian 
of this terrible \voman ? So the girl confronts her, and by 
the avowal of her love gains the reply which shatters her \vhole 
life. She can do nothing. She can only stare before her in 
blank hopeless misery, till a footstep quite close arouses her, 
and she feels that Rochester has come. No look does she give 
the man who has returned to her side full of hope and love. No 
explanation does she require or ask of him. " Is that woman 
your wife ?' The words ring out with pitiless emphasis. Three 
times is the question repeated. She will have no evasion of it. 
She will hear nothing but the bare truth, and she will have the 
word which will bind them together for life or separate them for 
eternity come from no other lips but from those of the man she 
loves. His answer comes, " Yes." What is there for her to say ? 
She utters a few words of simple unvarnished truth, overwhelming 
him with grief such as no reproaches could ever have aroused in him, 
and then woman-like she throws herself at his feet, and cries, 
" Forgive me for my words. My own dear master the time has 

ii6 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i,- 1883. 

come when we must bid farewell for ever/' Then all the spirit of 
the man rises against this awful power which is taking from him 
everything which is most precious. " By God ! you shan't leave 
me," he exclaims, and then begins the persuasive reasoning which 
has proved the ruin and misery of so many women. The passion 
of the man, the whole strength and force of his nature carries her 
along with him. She has all but consented, he has all but made, 
her promise to be his for ever and ever, when suddenly the awful 
scream, the hideous laugh, are again heard. Involuntarily they recoil 
from each other, his influence over her is shattered, broken, and with 
the words, " She stands between us," the curtain falls. It is im- 
possible to speak too highly of the acting of Mrs. Bernard-Beere 
during the scene we have attempted to describe. From first to- 
last she never lost her hold of the situation. It may be truly 
said that it was simply her acting, her determination, which made 
this scene the success it proved to be. Nothing could be more 
colourless, more insipid than the acting of Mr. Kelly at this 
anxious moment, just at the time when all the passion and strength 
of Rochester's love ought to have been brought into play. What 
the result would have been if the part of Jane had been presented 
in an equally timid manner it is not very difficult to see. The 
fourth act is an illustration of the calm which comes after a storm. 
How lovely is the landscape here before us, and the air of quiet- 
ness which reigns over the place ! 

Here it is that Jane hears of the wife's death, and of her 
master's blindness. The way in which Rochester, thinking Mrs. 
Fairfax is by his side, tells her of the love he still has for Jane, is 
a pretty idea, and so is the subsequent conversation, when Jane 
kneels at his feet with the words, " Master ! I am come." Here 
again, however, the situation is allowed to drop. The joy of these 
two may be /<?//, it can scarcely be said that it is expressed ; to the 
end it is always the love of Jane, not that of Rochester, which seems 
strong and real, but the cause of this may arise from the way in 
\vhich, as we have before mentioned, Mr. Kelly plays the character, 
It may be said of Mrs. Bernard-Beere that in looks and manners 
she fails to be anything like the heroine of Miss Bronte's book ; but 
still on the other hand it must be admitted that the conception 
she has chosen to take of the character is a strong and powerful 
one, and whatever may be the ultimate success of this play it 
cannot be denied that it has raised Mrs. Beere to the rank of one of 

FEB. i, 1883.] CORRESPONDENCE. 1 17 

the leading actresses of the day, a position to which she is thoroughly 
entitled, having worked as she has always done with such courage 
and perseverance. Of the other remaining characters there is 
but little to say. The hopes that were once entertained of the way 
in which Mr. Kelly would play Rochester can scarcely be said to 
have been fulfilled. There is a chance that he may improve as he 
becomes more familiar with his part, but it is not likely to be 
named as amongst his best work. The appearance of Miss 
D'Almaine as the maniac wife could not be better in its horrible 
repulsiveness. Miss Kate Bishop as Blanche Ingram looks 
well, but utterly fails to comprehend the aristocratic bearing of 
the woman. Miss Leighton makes a perfect picture of the old 
lady Mrs. Fairfax, and Miss Leclercq is greatly amusing as 
Lady Ingram. 



MY DEAR CLEMENT SCOTT. You ask me to tell you something about 
the edition of Shakespeare on which I have the great pleasure to be 
associated, as a fellow-worker, with Henry Irving. Some five years ago I 
first suggested to him the idea of bringing out an edition of Shakespeare, 
in which that great dramatist should be mainly regarded as what he really 
was a writer for the stage. Nothing came of my suggestion but some very 
interesting conversations ; it was not till the latter end of last year that I 
again urged my reasons for such an undertaking namely, that Shakespeare 
had been edited most elaborately from nearly all points of view, except 
from that which he himself took of his own work. Shortly after this a well- 
known firm of publishers proposed to Mr. Irving to bring out an edition 
of Shakespeare. He, most generously, remembering our conversations, 
suggested that I should be his coadjutor. It is not an " Acting Edition" 
of Shakespeare only upon which we are at work ; for the entire text of each 
play will be given. The notes will be arranged on a new principle ; and 
there will be several novel features in this edition, the nature of which will 
be announced in due time ; but one main fact, which has been lost sight of 
by many of the student commentators of Shakespeare, will be held in view 
namely, that Shakespeare was an actor, and that to his work, both in its 
highest and in its lowest features, was brought the technical skill of an 
actor. This fact may be a disagreeable one to those who look upon an 
actor as a superior kind of toy, contrived by Providence for the purpose 

nS THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

of affording so many hours of amusement in the afternoon, or evening, on 
the stage, to those who pay for the privilege of witnessing his efforts ; and so 
many more hours of amusement in the social circle, at the supper table, to 
those who do not pay for that privilege. These people resent the recogni- 
tion of any intellect in the actor as a personal slight upon their own : but 
there is no doubt, pace these superior persons, that to his persevering study 
of stage effect Shakespeare owed no small portion of his greatest qualities 
as a writer of dramatic poetry. I am much surprised to find that, while 
ample materials exist for the discussion of every other conceivable question 
connected with Shakespeare's work and life, there is a remarkable dearth of 
information, or even of conjecture, available regarding the stage history of his 
plays ; when, and where, and how often they were acted, &c. &c. I shall be 
much obliged to any of your readers who may know, or, in the course of 
their reading, may light on any interesting facts relating to this subject, if 
they will kindly communicate with me. Letters addressed to " Westwood, 
Bracknell, Berks," will always find me; and will, I hope, meet with a prompt 
and courteous acknowledgment. Yours ever, 


<S>ur mnibus Boy. 

IT would be discourteous in the extreme not to acknowledge in 
terms of sincere gratitude the innumerable letters that have 
been received during the past month congratulating all who have 
been interested in putting before the public the most successful number 
of THE THEATRE Magazine yet published. The new series, as typified 
in the January number, has been received with all but unanimous 
praise, and our excellent publisher has already had practical proof 
of the public approval. Not a little of this success is due to the 
pictures, usually considered to be works of art, prepared for the magazine 
by the St. James's Photographic Company, which are the modern sub- 
stitutes for the beautiful steel engravings that adorned the theatrical books 
of another century. THE THEATRE Magazine had a mission at the outset, 
to preserve in a handy and convenient form the records of our plays and 
the faces of our most famous players and authors. That mission is now in 
a fair way of being fulfilled. 

I wish sometimes that clever actors could see how little eccentricities 
of costume on the stage jar against the full effect of serious scenes. There 
are several such instances in " Comrades," at the Court, that might easily 
enough be avoided. One of the prettiest scenes written in any play for some 
time past is that between Mr. Coghlan and Miss Marion Terry at the chess- 
table. It is charmingly played, and yet the audience is distracted by 

FEB. i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 119 

Mr. Coghlan's unbecoming bicycle costume of knee-breeches and purple 
stockings. A bicycle costume on the stage is 'hateful; it prejudiced 
people against Edgar in the " Promise of May." I conclude Mr. Coghlan 
is supposed to have been playing lawn tennis ; if so, why not 
in a dress as becoming as that of Mr. Dot Boucicault? But Mr. 
Coghlan's accentuated legs, partly hidden by the chess-table, are not 
so jarring in the scene, as Mr. Clayton's long Noah's-ark coat in 
the scene between father and son. This coat does not suit Myrtley 
Cover in the least, and it is very trying to the patience of the audience. 
The foreground of coat does not suit the background of landscape. 
When the unruly mind turns from the sentiment of the play to that coat, 
there is a disturbance. 

And yet another grievance. Why do all the men appear at luncheon 
after shooting without a speck of mud on their boots ? At such a season 
of the year it must have been muddy across the plough, in the lanes, and 
even in the grass rides of the cover, but all the boots and gaiters are spot- 
less. I should suggest a little splashing in order again to harmonize with 
that delightfully painted background. Mr. Perkins with his scene takes 
us into the country, but the actors bring us back to town again with their 
mudless boots. 

Mr. Slingsby Bethell writing to the papers says that he must in 
conclusion distinctly deny " that the laws regarding public amuse- 
ments have been for years past in a state of chaos." I fear he has 
not well studied his subject. At any rate his denial is valueless in 
the face of facts. Let me refer him to a memorable saying by Mr. John 
Hollingshead, whose pamphlet, on "Theatrical Licences/' I commend 
to the attention of Mr. Bethell. " The theatres still dance their hornpipes 
in the political fetters imposed upon them by Sir Robert Walpole, while 
the music rooms are governed by an Act of Parliament, framed to put 
down Moll Flanders and her tribe, but really meant to stop the singing of 
Jacobite songs in the pot-houses of 1750." The Lord Chamberlain 
exercises his power of licensing buildings within the metropolitan borough 
under the 6 and 7 Viet. Cap. 68. Yet within these limits there are two 
theatres, Drury Lane and Covent Garden, which exist without any licence 
at all. These are the patent houses. As regards Drury Lane, the Lord 
Chamberlain has denied that it is empowered to open without a licence, 
and yet since 1837, its proprietors have defied the Lord Chamberlain's 
authority. Further confusion is created by the fact that the vast districts 
of Chelsea, Kensington, Fulham and Hammersmith, having been created 
a Parliamentary borough since the passing of the Theatres Act, are outside 
the Lord Chamberlain's jurisdiction. The Court Theatre, for example, has 
no licence from the Lord Chamberlain, and therefore cannot be punished 
by him for breach of his regulations. If, therefore, a licence were required 
for the Shelley Theatre on the Thames Embankment, the Lord Chamber- 
lain could not grant one under 6 and 7 Viet. Cap. 68, the last of the theatrical 
Acts of Parliament. If this be not chaos I don't know what is. 

120 THE THEATRE. [FEB 1,1883. 

It is positively a treat to step into the Vaudeville Theatre any evening 
to hear the honest roars oflaughter that greet the latest, and, in many re- 
spects, the very best, of the recent performances of " The Rivals." Mr. 
Thome has discovered the secret that Buckstone and Webster discovered 
at the old Haymarket, "good new comedies if you can get them, if not, fall 
back on the old, and, above all things, a sound, vigorous, hearty and 
genial company." The horses taught to pull in the same team work best, 
and for old comedy Mr. Thome's company is unrivalled. Where, for in- 
stance, could a better Old Absolute be found than Mr. William Farren, 
an actor not only impressed with the force and excellence of his father's 
traditions in the character, but honestly liking his work and revelling in 
the pure comedy of Sheridan. Mr. Farren, to put it vulgarly, seems to lick 
his lips over Sheridan. He sits down to the meal and honestly enjoys it. 
He has tried many fashionable kickshaws and made dishes, but he turns 
with relish to his good old English beef-steak well, and onions for the matter 
of that. The scene between Mr. Farren and Mr. Henry Neville, as Old 
Absolute and Jack, is as good comedy as any one would desire to see ; it 
makes the tears roll down the cheeks with laughing not laughing at vile 
puns and contorted jokes, but fun that bubbles up from the surface of human 
nature. Our actors are, I firmly believe, every bit as good, if not better 
than they were in old days, but they then had some strong human problems 
to deal with which they have not now. They were real men and women 
that Sheridan drew. The stage is rich in Mrs. Malaprops. Mrs. Stirling 
steps off the stage only to be succeeded by Mrs. Chippendale, who, some- 
how or other, though comparatively young, has inherited the mantle of old 
comedy. Mr. Thorne surprises everybody by his Bob Acres, a careful, 
able and discriminating performance, funny, bright,, but never degenerating 
into clowning and buffoonery. It fits well into the picture-frame which 
cannot be said of many Bobs associated with this play. They are generally 
all over the place, and spoil the ensemble by their extreme personality. The 
harmony of the comedy is heightened by as spring-like and maidenly a 
Lydia Languish as could be desired in Miss Winifred Emery a really 
charming performance by the Julia of Miss Alma Murray, and the Fag 
of Mr. Crauford. But the brightness of old comedy cannot be sustained 
alone by venerable characters, admirable and incisive as they are. There 
is no actor of his time who so well understands and supports the geniality 
of comedy as Mr. Henry Neville. He never allows a play to go to sleep, 
or dawdles over his work. His gaiety and spirit are infectious, and what I 
should call the proper temperature of comedy is admirably sustained by 
this hearty and ever industrious actor. "The Rivals" has already chronicled 
its fiftieth night, and is green and flourishing. 

There is one scene in " Forget me Not" so striking, and one speech 
spoken by Miss Genevieve Ward so fine, that our readers will be glad to 
see it in print, in order that it may be studied and taken to heart after 
the excitement of the situation, and the tempest of the applause are over : 

SIR H. What do you mean to do ? 

STE. To stay in this house and go into the world with Alice, as her dearest friend, for 
six weeks. 

FEB. i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 121 

SIR H. At the end of that time the marriage will be valid, and by your own showing 
you can do no harm. What can a woman with your antecedents do to gain a position 
in six weeks? 

STE. With the countenance of the Verneys, everything. The world will believe them, 

when they declare, as they will, how misrepresented I have been After all, is 

what I ask so very terrible ? I have promised to be as good as gold, as pure as ice, as 
intensely respectable as poor old Foley. -I shall do your Alice no harm. 

SIR H. No harm ? Why your very presence is an insult to her. Your incarnate wicked- 
ness poisons the air she breathes, as your schemes darken her beautiful and upright life. 
If you stay in the house with her for six weeks she will droop and wither like a blighted 
tree. Oh, Alice ! my Alice ! I would die to save you a passing pain, and I cannot 
sweep this contamination from your path ! 

STE. No, you cannot ; and you shall not. You shall have cause to remember these 
words that you have said to me. I will sit at your darling's table, and sleep in your 
darling's arms. She shall be kind to me, and fond and loving, and shall learn to look to 
me for guidance and example. I will distil into her. drop by drop, the lessons that men 
have taught me. I will disclose to her, little by little, the sort of life that is led by 
sensitive lovers like you you who talk about blight and contamination to the partners 
of your luxuries, the victims of your selfishness, the playthings of your pleasure : Is there 
no blight, no contamination, that a past like yours would throw upon the baby-innocence 
that you would link with it? Why may a man live two lives, while a woman must stand 
or fall by one ? \Vhat was the difference between us two, Sir Horace Welby, in those 
bygone years, that should make me now a leper, and you a priest ? that should give you 
the right to say to me, "you are Vice, and I am Virtue, sin on, or I damn you?'' Who 
and what are you, that you should dare to talk like this ? There would be no place 
in creation for such women as I, if it were not for such men as you ! 

An admirer of the dead poet sends me what she calls "A Retrospect of 
the Rosetti Pictures," at Burlingon House. Such appreciation and tender 
thoughts should not be lost, I think. 

" The collection of paintings by D. G. Rosetti, now being exhibited at 
Burlington House, is one of those pleasures which, appreciated but once, 
leaves the spectator almost incapable of giving an unbiassed criticism, so 
many, so different are the thoughts they arouse. In not one of them can 
be found wanting, in more or less degree, indications of that wonderful 
power of imagination, that marvellous, almost unexpressible fascination of 
colour which tells of the hand of him whose poems have been the delight 
of all those who have read and appreciated them. It is curious that the 
more one looks at and studies these works of art, so much the more do they 
each one of them stand out as totally differing from the other. Though 
it may be affirmed by some that the face and figure are often repeated, 
can it be denied that there is one that has not a peculiar sense of colour 
and imagination entirely its own ? Granted that in two or three instances 
the face of the woman is almost identical ; is it not completely changed by 
the force of its surroundings ? it may be by the wistful sweet look of an 
angel's head, bending in loving tenderness over the principal figure, as in 
"La Ghirlandata," or it may simply be the attraction of green leaves against 
a background of a blue impossible to describe, as in "The Day-Dream." 
At a first glance it is almost incredible to believe that these leaves are not 
embroidered so marvellous is their effect and it may be doubted if any- 
thing in the whole collection can be found to equal the superb colouring 
of this picture, except that of " A Vision of Fiammetta." In describing its 


122 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

varied colours one might be tempted into a doubt as to their harmony. 
The three-quarter figure is clad in a reddish drapery, which appears almost 
pink compared to the bright red bird held above her head. The hair is of 
the richest auburn, and she is surrounded by apple blossoms. The whole 
effect is gorgeous, and yet the colours are so exquisitely toned into one 
another that there is nothing that can jar upon the eye in any possible 
way. " The Blessed Damozel" lingers on the imagination as one of those 
dreams of perfect beauty which are so difficult, so rare to find. Here 
is the living poem before our eyes. The expression of the face is 
entirely centred in the lines "The wonder was not yet quite gone from 
that still look of her's." Surely we must believe that this girl sees her 
lover who is represented beneath, looking up to the sky, separated 
from her by three angel heads whose eyes are raised to heaven, where 
may be seen the lovers wandering about in the groves of Paradise. This 
is, indeed, a living poem which must make everyone the better who thinks 
and ponders on it. Nor must we forget to single out of a collection, which 
is alike so varied and fascinating in its individuality, the picture entitled, 
" Veronica Veronesa." Who would not wish to linger over the face of 
this woman, dreamily listening to the song of the bird which for the 
moment has drawn her attention from the sweet tones of her violin ? 
What a harmony do the rich folds of her olive-green dress make against 
the lighter tint of a background of the same colour ; and do not those 
daffodils lying on the table before her look as though one had simply to 
stretch forth one's hand to possess them ? No one, having once seen and 
appreciated Dante's Dream, will not desire to do so again, and not less the 
pathetic tale of daily life, entitled " Found." Would thousands of words 
ever be able to express what the face of this young countryman does, as he 
bends over the crouching girl and finds she is no other than the woman he 
loved in former days ? The face haunts one in its life-like depiction of 
hopeless, unutterable misery ! Let us quote two more instances before we 
close, showing with what utter diversity this great artist could depict the 
nature of women. " Sybilla Palmifera" is a face of the strongest character, 
full of perfect calm, self-possession and determination. Here is a woman 
who, as a queen, would demand and obtain the homage and obedience of 
her subjects. The whole colouring and pose is admirable, and it is almost 
regretfully that one turns to the study by its side, entitled " Beata Beatrix." 
Here everything is transformed. The picture is enveloped in shadow, and 
mythical and weird, indeed, is the strange beauty of this woman. The eyes 
are closed, the mouth is half open, and the whole face is lighted up with a 
love and passion which is only fully comprehended now that the hour of 
her departure draws near. A crimson bird bears to her the poppy-emblem 
of the sleep of death, and in the background, watching, may be seen Dante 
and the Angel of Love. It is impossible not to wonder at this face, so full 
of the desires and longings of life even at the moment- when the grey 
shadows of death are stealing across it. What a world of thoughts and 
imagination it arouses, mingled with admiration for the genius of him who 
possessed alike the power of conceiving such a creation and that of giving 
it to us in its pure and perfect beauty of poetical imagination." 

FEB. i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 123 

Amateur theatricals have been associated with the name of Dickens 
ever since the days of the performances at Tavistock House, and .the 
" splendid strolling" of which we read in Forster's "Life of Dickens" and 
in the published letters of the immortal novelist. It is interesting to note 
that the tradition still survives, and that an amateur performance for the 
benefit of the Home for Incurable Children, at Kilburn Town Hall, on 
January i ith, was principally supported by members of the Dickens family. 
A connecting link between the company at Kilburn and that more famous 
one of a quarter of a century ago was formed by the appearance of Mr. 
Charles Dickens, the younger, who played a part with discretion and 
ability, and who, like his father, is an accomplished stage manager and 
general director. The bill consisted of the comedietta, " My New Maid " 
Hoare's old-fashioned musical farce, " No Song, no Supper -" and Tom 
Taylor's well-known drama, " A Sheep in Wolfs Clothing." The whole 
performance was eminently satisfactory, but the event of the evening was 
the appearance of Miss Mary Dickens (the novelist's eldest grandchild) in 
the character of Anne Carew in the last-mentioned piece. Miss Dickens 
has determined upon adopting a theatrical career, and chose this oppor- 
tunity to give her friends an idea of her capabilities. Her appearance, 
however, was on the present occasion distinctly en amateur, for we are glad 
to say Miss Dickens, unlike many aspirants to the honours of the stage, has 
the good sense to realize that acting, like every other art, is to a great 
extent a matter of training, and that it is her intention to serve a noviciate 
in the provinces and in minor parts before attempting to take a place in 
the front rank of her profession. It is pleasant to be able to record that 
in her performance at Kilburn, Miss Dickens gave evidence of possessing 
the true histrionic instinct. She is not yet a trained actress, but she 
showed signs of those dramatic gifts which training can foster and educate, 
but cannot create. We shall be disappointed if, in a few years, Miss 
Dickens does not secure for herself a distinguished position on the English 

" Juliet, Miss Fanny Lumsden." Some day, perhaps, Miss Lumsden 
will be Juliet. Meantime, I sit and wonder how many Juliets I can, just 
now and off-hand, recal. The earliest of all must be Miss Swanborough 
the first Miss Swanborough. It was from one of the neck-ricking side- 
boxes of the old Hay market that I beheld her mad-scene. It received 
my shuddering approval. That my approval, even in those days, was not 
undiscriminating is evidenced to me by the recollection of how Romeo's 
interminable death-rattle, and colicky kickings after the poison, made me 
laugh. The Romeo of that evening, by the way, was Miss Cushman 
Charlotte, the more terrible of the two she who once went down on her 
bended knee in Maddox's managerial room at the Princess's and anathe- 
matized him into giving her an engagement on the spot. 

For another Juliet's all too brief appearance they have built up a balcony 
over against a certain stage-box, at the little house in the Strand, which 
the stage-box, not the balcony has contained a good many of us in its 

K 2 

124 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

time. And who sits presently on that balcony in the lime-light, and 
makes us, too, wish that we were a glove upon that hand that we might 
touch that cheek ? Who but the archest, the winsomest, the most roguish, 
the most delightfully-impossible Juliet that you, who never saw her, can 
imagine Marie Wilton. Her Juliet never went beyond that balcony, 
though the more's the pity. 

The balcony scene is set next in Oxford Street, at the Princess's ; and 
there stands a little French ingenue, with fair hair, done up a I Tmp'eratrice. 
And a diamond star on her forehead Mademoiselle Stella Colas, to wit 
a realistic Juliet, who, when she presently adjures gentle night to take her 
Romeo, after his demise, and cut him out in little stars, simulates the action 
of a pair of scissors ! 

Millicent Palmer at the Lyceum a Juliet that promised well, but came 
to cruellest grief one night, when an inadequate bed gave way before the 
flats could close in upon the catastrophe, and Homeric laughter shook the 

Then, something older than " fourteen, come Lammas-eve at night," 
perhaps, appears a Juliet of the haute holeof the andenjeu statuesque, 
Macreadyesque : Miss Faucit. 

By-and-bye it is the night of the 3ist of August, in the year of grace 
1867, and on the stage of the Adelphi stands a Juliet with her armful of 
flowers, looking, in the white robe and dishevelled hair of the death-scene 
just ended, as she used to look in Ophelia. Again and again she bends 
before the roar of applause that greets her from the crammed house 
greets her for the last time ; for to-night, in Juliet, her last stage-part is 
played, and Kate Terry's theatrical life is ended. 

Another Terry, and another Juliet, and her Romeo. 

" Sure such a pair were never seen 
So fitly formed to meet by Nature !" 

But the Juliet of them all was Adelaide Neilson's, I think. She was 
always fresh in it, and always young ; and withal, she had got to throw an 
amount of force and fire into her last acts which looked less like art than a 
sort of inspiration and this was the more noticeable, because inspiration 
of any sort was generally conspicuous by its absence in the other parts she 

The engagement of Mr. Coghlan at the Haymarket Theatre looks well 
for Sardou's " Fedora." As I read the story, with its passion and vigour, 
he is the one of the only English actors I can see in such a part. How 
Berton can have distinguished himself as the lover in such a play as this is 
to me a mystery. I once saw him play Hernani to the Dona Sol of Sara 
Bernhardt, and the sailor lover in " Jean Marie'' to the same actress, and 
it was not a pleasing experiment. Mr. Coghlan, being an author as well as 
an actor, can adapt the play, write his own part, and contribute, I trust, 
greatly to its success in every department. But Mr. Coghlan is not 
adapting " Fedora ;" the work has been entrusted to an able dramatist, 
who has protested for years, in no measured language, against the 
unwholesome practice of adaptation. 

FEB, i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 125 

We have often seen young ladies going to church in fashionable districts 
with tiny and miniature editions of the " Book of Common Prayer," the 
Church Services, or " Hymns Ancient and Modern," contrived so as to hang 
by a ring on to the finger, or to be slung to the umbrella or parasol. The 
footman no longer is seen stalking behind " my lady" down Portland Place, 
or in the neighbourhood of Margaret Street and Wells Street, with a library 
of religious books. The hint has not been lost in the matter of playgoers' 
pocket editions. The neatest I have yet seen is called "Kent's Pocket 
Shakspeare" (W. Kent & Co., Paternoster Row), containing in a pretty 
little blue case the seven plays produced at the Lyceum Theatre by Mr. 
Irving. Each of these little volumes can literally go into the waistcoat 
pocket, and can be consulted with the greatest ease in the theatre. The 
only drawback is that they are not the " acting editions" of Mr. Irving's 
plays, which are of course invaluable to the dramatic student. On the 
subject of acting editions let me refer our readers to the letter from 
Mr. Frank Marshall, giving some notes in advance concerning the new 
Shakspeare of Mr. Marshall and Mr. Irving. 

The story of the recent pantomime season is not an edifying one. So far 
as London is concerned, the attempt to borrow fun from the music-hall has 
turned out a grim and ghastly failure, and it is not likely that it will ever be 
repeated. These drolls are, in point of fact, not funny at all ; they appeal 
to vulgar tastes ; their method of art is coarse ; their songs, unredeemed by 
wit, are inexpressibly silly, and they are as out of place in fairy stories and 
nursery legends, and as disconnected from the merriment that children love, 
as roast beef and mince pies would be at an August pic-nic at Burnham 
Beeches. For the sake of these tedious gentlemen the whole order of 
pantomime has been radically altered. Plots are rendered hazy, stories 
inconsequent, and the dramatic essence of an over-lengthy entertainment is 
squeezed out in order to familiarize the public ear with silly tunes and still 
sillier jingle. For the sake of these same gentlemen the harlequinade has 
been reduced to a shadow, and the children are no longer allowed to enjoy 
that which to them is the most amusing part of their long-anticipated evening. 
The storm so long brewing has now burst over the holiday entertainment. 
Sufficient rope has been given, and music-hall art, if indeed such a term can 
be applied to such silly minstrelsy, has successfully hanged itself. I have no 
doubt that the theatre managers can all quote reams of figures and oceans 
of statistics to prove that they never made more money in their lives than 
they have done this year, taking a leaf out of Mr. John Hollingshead's 
book, who, having discovered that the worst plays pay best, ingeniously 
argues that bad plays are preferable to good ones. In these days 
of competition and variety, there must be theatres for the brainless as 
well as for the educated, and it is not strange or wonderful that, out of 
four millions of inhabitants, the Verdant Greens of the Metropolis should 
support one temple in which to worship at the shrine of folly. But in the 
matter of pantomime, I do not think it would be safe to speculate on music- 

126 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

hall art again on the strength of the abnormal success of recent so-called 
pantomimes. They succeeded far more by luck than management this year. 

No fault can be found with the liberality of managers who devote their 
attention to holiday audiences. They have sp ent their money lavishly, if 
anything, too lavishly, but they have forgotten that over-elaboration produces 
weariness and depression, and that the complaints forced upon their atten- 
tion this year have been, on the whole, well founded. A visit to the play 
is a recognized annual treat to every child, and parents have a right to 
be vexed when, thinking they will find a pantomime, they discover an 
entertainment that would be far better rendered and certainly more amusing 
at the local music-hall. The word music-hall should not necessarily be one 
of reproach, but the laws affecting them are in such a scandalous state that 
their proprietors are utterly unable to improve their tone or status. Music- 
halls are governed by Acts of Parliament framed before they came into 
existence, and no legislator has yet taken the trouble to inquire into the 
oppressive system of licensing that exists amongst the minor entertainments 
of the Metropolis. Music-halls might be improved and many proprietors 
are anxious to improve them in the interests of good taste and their own 
pockets. But the law as it stands hinders any reform. 

As regards pantomime of the future, one of two things should certainly 
be done, either to please the children by restoring the harlequinade with all 
its funny tricks and constant succession of changes, or, for the sake of 
spectacle which is so popular, to make the annual entertainment a really 
comic review of the chief events of the year. This can be done without 
any personality or offence. If so much money can be spent on tinfoil and 
Birmingham armour, why cannot a little more be spent on jokes and songs ? 
The age is not destitute of humour that can produce a Byron, a Burnand, 
and a Gilbert. There must be some Randolph Caldecott to amuse us on 
the stage, as well as in the nursery. Children were never better off than 
now for Christmas books ; never worse off for Christmas amusements in the 
theatre. Refinement and grace creep into every other form of art but this. 
At holiday time they seem to be kicked out at the stage-door. Shakspeare 
was never so sumptuously adorned, and pantomime never so miserably vul- 
garized. In fact pantomime, as at present practised, is neither fish, flesh, 
fowl, nor good red-herring. We must reform it altogether. 

A right merry evening may now be spent at the Strand Theatre, to which 
Mr. John S. Clarke has introduced a new acting version of Shakspeare's 
" Comedy or Errors." He has cleverly packed this ingenious farce, older 
than Shakspeare, and traced as far back as Plautus, into the smallest 
possible compass, and the consequence is that laughter follows it from one 
end to the other. Would this have happened if the play had been acted 
as Shakspeare actually wrote it ? I venture to think not ; and yet, accord- 
ing to Mr. Gilbert's theory, it was insulting to Shakspeare's memory and 
his fame to play it in any other form. The editing and re-arrangement have 
been done with reverent hands ; an ingenious arrangement of scene enables 
the audience to see both the outside and the inside of the house of Anti- 
pholus of Ephesus, and Mr. Lewis Wingfield, availing himself of all the 

FEB. i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 127 

poetical licence lo which he was entitled, has made the stage brilliant with 
colour and interesting with design. The necessary curtailment has no doubt 
robbed the play of much of its acting significance. It becomes a farce pure 
and simple. There is, therefore, but scant opportunity for Mr. Clarke to 
display more than his accustomed brightness, his inimitable quaintness 
of utterances, and his consummate drollery. He is the firework that flashes 
through the play. I am one of those who believe Mr. John S. Clarke 
to be capable of strong and nervous passion, and that he has a reserve 
of emotional power. Here, of course, there is no opportunity for any such 
display. He is only a droll Dromio, and he can do nothing else. His 
companion in drollery is Mr. Harry Paulton, who does his utmost 
to divest himself of his nature. Mr. Paulton is, I fancy, a born Shak- 
spearian clown his manner is essentially Shakspearian. He would be 
the most wonderful Dogberry the stage could produce, and I should like 
to see him play Touchstone, the Grave Digger, and Autolycus. The 
quaintness of all Shakspearian fun is the very quaintness that Mr. 
Paulton possesses. But he does riot really resemble Mr. Clarke in face, 
voice, or manner. The one is electric and spasmodic ; the other is solemn 
and dry. But, after all, precise physical resemblance is almost impossible to 
obtain except with twins. Better this than no " Comedy of Errors" at all. 
Mr. F. Charles made a capital and spirited Antipholus of Ephesus, his 
double being Mr. G. L. Gordon. One of the most interesting re- 
appearances of late has been that of Miss H. Lindley, who played Adriana 
in that refined and graceful tone that is so very welcome. Playgoers may 
remember Miss Lindley in the Buckstone and Sothern days at the Hay- 
market. The lady has vastly improved as an actress since then, not- 
withstanding her retirement, and I should say she would be invaluable 
in the fashionable comedy of to-day. Miss Lindley has that best of all 
gifts, a sweet voice and distinction to support it. After the Shakspearian 
farce Mr. John S. Clarke plays the Toodles, and those who have never seen 
him play the Toodles never deserve to laugh again. 

The Aylesbury Amateur Dramatic Club gave their first performance this 
year at the Corn Exchange, Aylesbury, on the i6th January, playing 
" Naval Engagements/' in which piece Mr. John Terry was most success- 
ful as Dennis,, and "The Jacobite," which was capitally rendered all 
round Mr. L. Smeathman as Sir Richard Wroughton, and Mr. F. B. 
Parrott as John Duck, securing the principal honours among the gentle- 
men. The Club was assisted professionally by Miss E. Weber, who in 
both pieces displayed her usual ability and finish ; Miss Rosie Dixon, who 
played Lady Somerford gracefully and effectively, and Miss Kittie Clare- 
mont, who showed considerable versatility and refined appreciation of 
humour as Miss Mortimer and Pattie Pottle. 

The Globe Amateur Dramatic Club gave a performance at Ladbrooke 
Hall, Notting Hill, on Saturday evening, January 20. The principal 
item in the bill was J. Palgrave Simpson's " Daddy Hardacre," a drama 

128 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

particularly suitable for amateur performance. Mr. A. Berlyn's Hardacre 
was a specially good effort. His interpretation of the emotions of the 
miser at the loss 'of his gold was most effective. Mr. L. Berlyn as Charles 
Clinton was very fair, but seemed not to fit the part so nicely as he might. 
Mr. Charles Wotherspoon as Jobling was a passably dry man of law, and 
Mr. F. Lefanu took the part of Adolphus Jobling in a creditable manner. 
Miss May Mellon made much of the part of Hardacre's daughter Esther ; 
her scenes with the old miser in the second act were capitalty played. 
Miss Florence Dexter, as Mary the servant, made the most of her small 
part, but looked much too prim and smart for such a household. The 
comedietta, u Cup of Tea/' preceded the above ; and the entertainment 
closed with a " new and original" farce, by Charles Wotherspoon, entitled, 
" Another Mistake," which is funny, and rather cleverly put together. The 
two minor pieces were supported by Misses Helen Langdale and Florence 
Dexter, and Messrs. Charles Wotherspoon., C. Braby, and L. Berlyn. The 
whole performance showed the management of the Club to be in very able 
hands. A band, composed of members of the Orpheonic Amateur Orches- 
tra, under M. Charles Schcemnehl, gave selections during the evening. 

The " Italian" Amateur Company gave their fourth annual performance 
on behalf of the London Homoeopathic Hospital, at St. George's Hall, on 
Thursday evening, January 18. F. W. Broughton's comedietta, " Withered 
Leaves," formed the first part of the programme ; Miss Lucy Roche taking 
the part of Lady Conyers with finish and confidence. Miss Ivan Bristow 
was a pretty and effective May Rivers ; Mr. Bernard Partridge a very good 
Sir Conyers Conyers ; Mr. C. H. Lamb's Tom Conyers was a natural piece 
of acting ; Mr. Harry Longhurst a cool and collected Arthur Middleton ; 
and Mr. Frankish, as Cecil Vane, made a very proper villain. The piece 
was well played throughout, running evenly and well, the lines being ren- 
dered smartly. The second part consisted of H. J. Byron's " Old Soldiers," 
substituted for the " Ladies' Battle," owing to the indisposition of a member 
of the company who was cast for one of the principal parts. Mrs. 
Conyers-d'Arcy acted with nerve and energy as Kate McTavish ; Miss 
Lucy Roche, as the prim widow, Mrs. Major Moss, was very fair, and Miss 
Ivan Bristow was an excellent Mary Moss. Captain Conyers-d'Arcy's 
Lionel Leveret was a clever performance, his assumption of the " not such 
a fool as he looks" style being very good. Mr. Douglas Fourdrinier, as 
Cassidy, was undoubtedly the. success of the evening. His portrayal of 
the Irish soldier-servant was a piece of acting seldom attained by amateurs. 
In the third act, where he befools the scamp McTavish into the belief 
that his master (Leveret) was in pecuniary embarrassment, was a really fine 
piece of low comedy. Mr. W. Harwood, as the artless, scheming Captain 
McTavish, was good ; Mr. C. H. Lamb was a well-finished Gordon Lock- 
hart ; Mr. Harry Longhurst a capitally made-up and gentlemanly-looking 
Major Fang ; and Mr. Walker assumed the minor part of Mr. Mawker. 
The comedy was wonderfully perfect all through, not a hitch occurring, 
capital time being observed to the end, and the members of the com- 

FEB. i,i883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 129 

pany are to be congratulated upon having such an excellent stage-manager 
as Captain Conyers-d'Arcy. An amateur band, under the leadership of 
Mr. A. Dean, did good service in their department. It was announced 
by the Hon. Secretary (M. A. E. Chambre) that the result of the enter- 
tainment would be an addition to the funds of the charity mentioned to 
the extent of ;ioo. 

The old County Town of Sussex, Lewes, again was honoured by a visit 
from Sir Charles Young, Lady Monckton, Mr. Quintin Twiss, and their 
circle of friends, who, were kind enough to give performances on two 
successive nights, the i ith and i2th December. Despite the inclement state 
of the weather, on Monday especially, when the roads in one portion of 
the district, that of Newhaven, were impassable, good, though not crowded 
houses attended. The pieces selected were " A Black Sheep," for the first 
evening's entertainment. Though admirably acted by all the characters, 
the play is, at best, one that but little commands the sympathies and at- 
tention of the audience. There is a sense of weariness throughout, even 
though the long first act was divided into two portions, producing, we think, 
a much better effect. Mr. Mark Keogh was capital as the vulgar American 
Deane. Sir Charles Young, and Lady Monckton, too, did all that could 
be done with Stewart and Mrs. Routh respectively. Mr. Quintin 
Twiss, more especially in the last scene, won throughout the applause of 
the audience. On Tuesday "A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing" was given. 
Almost immediately, the audience knew, as if by intuition, an excellent per- 
formance was in store for them. The acting all round was capital. Sir 
Charles Young, Lady Monckton, Mr. Twiss, Miss Frederica Chatterton, and 
Mr. Fulton (Colonel Kirke), played with force and good taste. Every 
point was well appreciated by the audience. Last, though not least, apart 
from size, was the admirable acting of Miss Blanche Hindel, aged six, as 
Sibyl, who has recently taken a prominent part in the Children's Panto- 
mime at the " Avenue." This child as Nana in " Drink," proved her 
capabilities as Sibyl she has confirmed them a worthy descendant of 
her father, whom we recognize as a leading actor at the Adelphi. " To 
oblige Benson" followed a most amusing Comedietta, when again all the 
characters were seen at their best, more especially Mr. Twiss and Lady 
Monckton. Mr. Norman each night played wonderfully well, and so did 
Miss Ethel Stope (Mrs. Norman) whom we hope to see many times again. 
The Lewes Dramatic Club, especially Mr. Wright, an excellent comedian, 
gave valuable assistance each night. Mr. Pilbeam, of Mrs. Nye Chart's 
theatre at Brighton, provided one of the prettiest interiors we ever saw for 
the " Sheep in Wolf's Clothing." 

Mr. John L. Child, late of the Lyceum Theatre, gave his third recital at 
St. George's Hall, on December i4th last. The first part of the pro- 
gramme consisted of selections from Shakespeare, and commenced with the 
Trial Scene from " The Merchant of Venice," followed by Clarence's 

130 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

Dream, from "Richard the Third/' and of the Graveyard Scene from 
"Hamlet." In the latter Mr. Child was particularly good, bringing out the 
dry utterances of the grave-digger with great point and effect. This portion 
of the entertainment was brought to a close by the recital of the poem, 
te The Midnight Charge," written to commemorate the brilliant cavalry 
charge in the late Egyptian war. Before beginning this recitation Mr. 
Child, who had very thoughtfully invited the non-commissioned officers and 
men of the Life Guards from Knightsbridge, found occasion to remark on 
the paucity of the numbers of the soldiers present, but this did not deter 
the reciter from acquitting himself in a very excellent manner. The second 
part included "The Burial March of Dundee," "The Glove and the 
Lions," "The Raven," and Chapter XIX. from Pickwick, "A Pleasant 
Day with an Unpleasant Termination/' These were all given with Mr. 
Child's usual good taste and power, showing him to be an elocutionist of 
the first rank. Perhaps his most successful effort was in " The Glove and 
the Lions ;" the concluding sentences of this little gem being received with 
hearty applause. Mr. Child is to be congratulated on the happy selection 
of his pieces. 

"The Strolling Players" opened their eighth season at St. George's Hall 
on the 2oth December to a brilliant and interested audience. The single 
piece presented was Watts Phillip's three -act drama, " Camilla's Husband/' 
The first scene went somewhat stiffly, probably due to the company being 
out of practice, but for this the numerous characters more than made 
amends later on. Mr. Edmund Routledge as Maurice Warner, and Miss 
A church as Lady Camilla Hailstone, were, of course, the central figures 
of the piece, and by their acting well-merited the position ; the former by 
his careful and well- studied rendering of the part enlisted the sympathy of 
his audience. Miss Achurch acted with excellent taste and no little feeling, 
finishing with a grand display of power in the last scene. Mr. Charles H. 
Lamb (Sir Philip Hailstone) gave a most intelligent representation of the 
part, Captain R. F. Johnson very properly assumed the character of Major 
Lumley, Mr. C. Penley's Dogbriar was a good piece of character acting, 
and Miss Beattie's Sloeberry (a gipsy girl) a pretty and pathetic impersona- 
tion. The remaining characters were Messrs. R. de Courcy (Captain 
Shrimpton), J. W. Hawkesworth (Hyacinth Jonquil), A. Young (Maybush), 
H. Firth (Chowler), and A. Dick (Servant), Miss Rhoda Rae (Lady Rose- 
ville), Miss L. Wilde (Clarida Poyntz), Mrs. Rudolf Blind (Red Judy). 
These ladies and gentlemen worked well together, especially in the later 
scenes, and the Society should have every reason to be satisfied with the 
performance. The musical portion of the entertainment was carried out 
with success by the Orchestral Society attached to the Club under Mr. 
Norfolk Megone. 

Professor Harold Ford, a public reciter of some merit and with a great 
provincial reputation, appeared at St. James's Hall (New Room) on Wed- 
nesday, January 17. His programme included u The Merchant of Venice,'* 

FEB. i, 1883.] O UR OMNIB US BOX. 1 3 1 

portion of the trial scene ; Byron's " Eve of Waterloo " a couple of scenes 
from " Hamlet ;" Tennyson's " May Queen ;" and a humorous sketch 
entitled "The Ladies' Congress." There can be no question as to Mr. 
Ford's power as an elocutionist, and his capabilities were exactly suited to 
the programme. His ability to give distinct individuality to each particular 
character was most marked in the Shakesperean selections. Vocal and 
facial changes were made in a most artistic style, interpreting the scenes 
with vivid clearness. The recitations were relieved with songs by Mdlle. 
E. Masset, and Mr. H. Delma, and pianoforte solos by Miss Albino, the 
first-mentioned lady being also credited with a capital violin solo. 

The first dramatic performance of the Paulatim Club was given at St. 
George's Hall on Saturday, 3oth December last. The pieces presented 
were H. J. Byron's " Partners for Life," and Tom Taylor's drama, " A 
Sheep in Wolfs Clothing." In the comedy, Mr. J. H. Saffery, as Horace 
Mervyn, rendered his lines with effect, but scarcely looked the elderly 
country gentleman ; Mr. C. H. Coffin made a first-rate Tom Gilroy; Mr. 
C. C. Homan, as Muggles, kept the audience in a continual state of merri- 
ment, making his funny speeches in the most natural manner ; Mr. J. G. 
Slee, as the headstrong young gentleman Ernest, looked and acted the part 
to perfection ; Messrs. S. Meyer and C. Dunn, as Sir A. Drelincourt and 
Major Billiter respectively, did very well, and Mr. A. C. E. Hill filled the 
minor part of Goppinger. Miss Ivan Bristow was a charmingly graceful 
Emily Mervyn ; Miss A. Catherwood, as Fanny Smith, was not quite equal 
to the part a little more animation would have made a great improve- 
ment; Mrs. H. Leigh's Miss Priscilla was a clever performance, highly 
creditable to the lady ; and Miss L. Graves took the small part of the 
maid, Darbyshire. The piece was fairly well played all through, though a 
little more life and spirit was wanted to make its success complete. In 
Tom Taylor's little drama, which, by the way, preceded the above, Mr. A. 
T. Frankish (the stage manager) represented Colonel Kirke with boldness 
and force, aided not a little by a capital make-up ; Mr. J. M. Powell's ren- 
dering of Jasper Carew was very fine, as was also Mr. H. S. Milliard's 
the thick-headed but good-hearted yokel, Kester Chedzoy ; Mr. H. W. 
Cooke, jun., as Colonel Lord Churchill, had little to do, but there was not 
much of the soldier in his voice, nor did he assume a very military air ; 
Messrs. C. C. Homan and L. L. Preston took the remaining male parts of 
Corporal Flintoff and John Zoyland. Miss Florence Worth, as Anne 
Carew, was, of course, the centre of interest, and she well understood the 
part, her scenes with Colonel Kirke and her husband being genuine pieces 
of acting. Mrs. Howard, excellently made-up, was Dame Carew ; Mrs. 
Viveash, Keziah Mapletoft ; and a charming little lady, Miss Florence May, 
prettily represented Sibyl, the child of the Carews. As a whole, a very 
good evening's entertainment was given, the different performers being 
generally well up to their parts, but, as I before remarked, there was not 
enough life and go displayed. The West London Orchestral Society sup- 
plied the band, which gave a well-selected programme, which was equally 
well carried out. 

132 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

Under the auspices of Mr. Edwin Drew, a benefit entertainment, on 
behalf of the Alhambra employes, London Firemen Fund and the widow 
Berg, was given in the Banqueting Hall, St. James's Hall, on Tuesday, i6th 
January last. The programme was of the miscellaneous kind, and com- 
prised recitations by Messrs. E. Drew, R. Gamier, J. Ward, J. C. Trinder, 
Acklow, J. E. Bridges and Graeme, and Miss Barton ; songs by Madlle. 
E. Masset, and Misses Norah Hayes, M. Gwynne, A. Kean, and Madame 
Aubrey. Scenes were given by Mrs. Stewart and Mr. F. Bush (Helen and 
Modus) ; by Miss Lilian Hervey and Miss E. Lennox (Julia and Clifford), 
from the " Hunchback ;" and by Miss Caldwell and Mr. E. Drew (Lady and 
Sir Peter Teazle). Herr Lehmeyer presided at the piano, and gave a couple 
of solos in very good style. One of the best recitations was that of Miss 
Barton, who gave Wolsey's speech to Cromwell in a most effective manner. 
Mr. Drew's effort in the " Charge of the Light Brigade" was also well 
received, and appearing again in conjunction with Miss Caldwell in a 
couple of scenes from the " School for Scandal/' in character, he met with 
a hearty recall. The various other performers acquitted themselves with 
more or less merit, space not permitting me to notice them in detail. 
Altogether, the entertainment was a success, and must have added con- 
siderably to the funds for which it was given. 

In the past month Master John Colbourne Trinder has been continuing 
his clever Recitals from Shakspeare, at St. James's Hall. His remarkable 
memory, coupled with his extreme youth, show him to be an artist of no 
mean order, and we shall no doubt hear of him as a public entertainer for 
many years to come. In his recital of the 8th January, he gave five 
scenes, or parts of scenes, from " Othello," and so correct was his memory, 
that not once did he pause or even hesitate for a word. Of course, there 
are important things besides accurate memory to be looked for in a good 
recitation, and there is some room for improvement in action, gesture, &c., 
but these slight imperfections will vanish by practice and experience. The 
recitations were relieved by a miscellaneous programme of vocal and in- 
strumental music, successfully carried out by Messrs. Lehmeyer, Sumpter, 
A. Hervey, W. Dailby, and Konigsberg ; Madame Aubrey, and Misses A. 
Giles and Hayes. Mr. Edwin Drew, under whose management the re- 
citals were conducted, also gave a couple of humorous readings written by 
himself, entitled " Dishing the Dentist" and " The False Pedestrian," which 
were very favourably received. 

Mr. Chillingham Hunt, after a couple of years' successful work as a 
public reciter in the provinces, appeared before a London audience on 
Thursday evening, nth January, at St. James's Hall. Mr. Hunt's great 
powers were well displayed in the following programme : " Hamlet," 
scene iv. act 3, and scene i. act 5 ; " Romeo and Juliet," scenes i. ii. and 
iii. act 5 ; " School for Scandal," screen scene; " Lady of Lyons," garden 
and cottage scene, &c. With such a list, the performer's elocutionary and 

FEB. i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 133 

histrionic talents were fully extended, and Mr. Hunt proved himself quite 
equal to the task. Gifted with a powerful yet flexible voice, his faculty of 
individualizing the several characters was particularly marked, and the 
pieces selected were certainly calculated to test this power to the utmost. 
Each item was attentively received by an enthusiastic audience, who freely 

Most appropriately, the first session of the Dramatic School of Art was 
brought to a close by a Speech Day on the 2ist of December. This is a 
time-honoured custom, and it carries us back to our own school-days, when 
recitations by selected pupils were given; when, nervously, the reciter made 
his bow before a friendly audience ; when he " strutted and fretted" a good 
deal of both his brief time upon the temporary platform ; and when applause 
followed his maiden effort. It is a true maxim that " there is nothing 
new under the sun ;" this Speech Day was a reflex of a bygone time. 

In the very pretty theatre attached to the school, with a good stage, 
replete with all means and appliances, to boot, the pupils of the different 
classes came before a select and critical audience. First in the programme 
were the students of the Rev. A. F. D'Orsey's class, who relied chiefly 
upon Shakspeare. Especially noteworthy was the rendering of Clarence's 
" Dream," by Mr. Joseph Ashman, who gave the recital with much dra- 
matic force, showing that he belonged to the powerful and energetic school 
of declamation. Mr. Frank Evans gave " Cassius instigating Brutus." This 
was a very fair example of good level speaking, gradually warming up into 
passion. Mr. Capel Haynes is an actor, or should be one. He made an 
immense hit by his assumption of the character of Sergeant Buzfuz ; not 
only was his change of voice admirable, but the " business" was replete 
with the most minute detail. " A palpable hit" was made, everybody was 
delighted, and certainly taken by surprise. Mr. Capel Haynes may be 
studying for the Bar ; if so, he will make his mark in the arena of the New 
Law Courts, but it is a pity the Stage should not secure him. 

Mrs. Chippendale's class came next. The young lady pupils did their in- 
structress credit. Miss Bessie Hatton the pretty daughter of genial Joseph 
Hatton, the well-known writer and journalist, gave the well-known speech on 
" Mercy," from the " Merchant of Venice." There was marked intelligence 
in the delivery of the lines ; added to this there was a charming purity of 
voice, which won quickly on the ear. Miss Hatton is very young in fact, 
the youngest of all the pupils but she is full of promise, which only re- 
quires application, and the judicious training of her coach, to arrive at 
some satisfactory result. Miss Johnson recited " The Seven Ages ;" but 
why this was selected in preference to other speeches more suitable to a 
lady speaker puzzles us. 

Mr. George Neville's evening class followed. Of his three pupils, Mr. 
A. H. Payne bore away the palm. He selected " The Collier's Dying 
Child." Not only was there great tenderness in the voice, but there was 
facial expression also. Mr. A. H. Payne will no doubt take, as he fully 
deserves, a first-class certificate for elocution then he will move on to the 
next branch of his education. Should he develop the same aptitude for 

134 THE THE A TRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

acting, he will be worth looking after. In the recital of " The Charge of 
the Light Brigade," Mr. Ernest Paxon began in too high a key. He was 
carried away, as it were, beyond his own control, and awoke the very 
echoes of the hall. Doubtless he will be toned down in the future ; it is 
easier to do this than to produce fire where there is no possibility of 
righting it. 

Miss Carlotta Leclercq's class. Miss Marguerite Etoile gave a soliloquy 
from " Hamlet." The reading was correct, and the ring of the verse care- 
fully measured. Mrs. Bennett and Miss Thrale selected speeches from 
"The Hunchback." Miss St. Albyn recited "The Gambler's Wife." 
There was much dramatic intention in this, but it failed in its effect by reason 
of a fatal fault that of drawing the breath with an audible gasp at frequent 
intervals. There was humour in Miss N. St. Albyn's " Cheap Dinner," 
giving the idea that the young lady is qualifying for comic characters. 

To close the programme, and evidently to leave a good impression, 
there was an entire scene from Schiller's " Mary Stuart." Miss Gladys 
Homfrey as Queen Elizabeth, and Miss Bell as Mary Stuart, were both 
excellent. The duel of words was well fought; both ladies won much 
applause. Miss Marguerite Etoile, as the waiting-maid, filled in the back- 
ground with very good effect ; her bye-play was to the purpose, yet not 

This first Speech Day augured well for the future of the Dramatic School 
of Art. It was evident, by the attention of the audence, that there was 
considerable interest in the proceedings of the afternoon. Let but the 
committee, professors, and pupils all work in perfect harmony, bearing 
in mind Richelieu's line to FranQois, " There's no such word as fail," and 
the motto for the new school may be written in golden letters thus 
Finis coronat opus. 

i( Caste" looks the most promising revival of any Robertsonian play yet 
attempted at the Haymarket. With a stronger backbone than any other 
of the series, and, on the whole, very excellently cast, it suits the theatre 
almost as well as it did that of the little Prince of Wales, now under 
sentence of condemnation. Those who have a sixteen years' memory, 
fresh and unimpaired, will like to contrast some of the old acting with the 
present, not always disadvantageously to the new comers ; whereas, such 
as see " Caste " for the first time will probably regard all this as affectation, 
and consider nothing could possibly be better than the present company. 
In the Polly Eccles of Mrs. Bancroft, and the Captain Hawtree of Mr. 
Bancroft, no improvement could possibly be made. It is not because they 
played them originally that I say so, but because in the whole Robert- 
sonian series neither ever did anything so well. Mr. Robertson wrote his 
plays en the tailor principle. He fitted his company as he wrote. He 
had them all in his mind's eye directly after "Society" made such an 
unexpected success. The parts did not fall to the artists they were made 
for them. Mr. Robertson was quick to detect manner and idiosyncrasy, so 
Mrs. Bancroft became Polly Eccles of Little Stangate, Mr. Bancroft was 

FEB. i, ,S8 3 .] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 135 

Ilawtree, Mr. Hare Sam Gerridge, and Mr. F. Younge George d'Alroy. 
I should feel inclined to sum up the revival as follows : Mr. and Mrs. 
Bancroft are, if anything, better than ever. Eccles, even by Mr. George 
Honey, was not played so well, so artistically, or with such moderation as 
by Mr. David James ; and Mrs. Stirling, as the Marquise, is a revelation. 
The part has never been read as Mrs. Stirling reads it never attacked 
with such taste and refinement. Mrs. Stirling upset all calculations, and 
gave us as fine a bit of refined comedy as anyone would desire to see. So 
far all was well. Mr. Brookfield played Sam Gerridge very cleverly, even 
if he disappointed the veteran division. He delighted the members of the 
A.D.C., who are proud of his success. But I wonder where Mr. Brookfield 
unearthed that phrase, " He blewed it " ? I am sure it is not in the text 
of " Caste," and it should never have been introduced at all. Miss Gerard 
feels strongly, and gave a very intelligent and highly emotional rendering 
of Esther Eccles, that lifted the play as it went on. She never let the 
story down for an instant, and it only required a George d'Alroy of more 
prominent sentiment to sustain the pathetic moments of the play. But I 
can never hope to see a D'Alroy like the original representative, Frederick 
Younge. This was a performance to be remembered. Still, we cannot 
have everything, and those who cannot enjoy " Caste" as acted at the Hay- 
market must be very hard to please. Playgoers are in luck this year, for 
I never remember such a succession of clever and well-acted plays. What 
with Shakspeare at the Lyceum and the Strand, first-class comedy at the 
St. James's and the Court, and the best of all the Robertson plays at the 
Haymarket, it is literally an embarras de richesses. 

It may not be generally known that the original sketch of the story that 
subsequently became the play of " Caste," appeared in a Christmas volume 
called " Rates and Taxes," edited by Tom Hood, and contributed to by 
Robertson, Prowse, W. S. Gilbert, Clement Scott, and Thomas Archer. 
There is a passage in that same story well worth quoting ; it has all the 
Thackeray flavour in it, and always reminds me of a scene in Vanity Fair. 

" It was a terrible parting. Esther bore it as meekly as she could, but there are 
bounds to the endurance even of women ; and Fairfax Daubray had to go upon his knees 
and implore her to keep calm for the sake of the little one not yet of this world. The 
bugles rang out and the drums rolled, as Ensign Daubray took his place with his company ; 
and as he marched past the Queen his heart thumped, and he felt every inch a soldier. 
At the same moment his wife was lying insensible with her three pale sisters hovering 
round her. 

" Fairfax Daubray was a brave, stupid, good-natured young man, and adored by the men 
under his command. A finer hearted gentleman or a more incapable officer never 
buckled on a sword belt. He fought gallantly at the Alma, and wrote after the battle. 
His wife, who was again at the little house at Stangate, read parts of his letters to her 
sisters, who cheered and wept and hurrahed as she read. She took them all with her to 
church upon the following Sunday. It was in a hot skirmish that Ensign Daubray found 
himself in' command of his company. His captain had been shot, and the lieutenant borne 
wounded to the rear. He saw the enemy above him. He knew that it was a soldier's 
duty to fight, and he led on his men up the hill side. 

" 'Dib ! Dib ! come back !' shouted two or three old officers from the main body of the 
troops behind him. Daubray turned round to them. 

136 THE THEATRE. [FEB. i, 1883. 

" ' Come back be damned!' 1 answered he, waving his sword above his head, ' You fellows 
come on /' 

" The next moment he fell, pierced by three Russian bullets. The soldiers saw him fall, 
cheered and rushed on. The Russians were in strong force, the odds, numerically, were 
six to one, but the English Regiment cleared the hill side !" 

Sir George Dexter, K.C.B. he never called himself, until very recently, 
Sir George Dexter, Bart., on the playbills has a right to explain himself as 
to his bearing on the new play " Comrades," at the Court Theatre. 

" I did not like to say a word till all criticisms were out, as a fault so 
generally found with ' Comrades' must be a serious one, and the fault lies 
only partially on the authors. The explanation of Sir George's conduct in 
1 Comrades' is given in a scene between the army doctor and myself, and 
people didn't pay much attention to the talk of two old men, not knowing 
how very important it is to hear it accurately. I did not like to speak 
about this till all was over, as one must be judged by the effect produced 
on the mind of the audience at night. I distinctly tell the doctor more than 
once that I am a baronet ; * that I inherit the title from my uncle,' and that 
my estates are entailed. The story of my position I tell to him, and my 
position as written is this : Sir George is heir to a baronetcy of entailed 
estates ; he finds them heavily encumbered ; his uncle the baronet is on 
the way of bankruptcy. He is married unknown to his people : they wish 
him to marry a very rich heiress. A telegram reaches him that his wife is 
dead. ' The heiress marries him for the title ; he, her, for the money.' 
The heiress's money is employed in clearing the estates. He is a very weak 
man, and don't speak at once. , He has used the money he married the 
heiress for. He can't complete his bargain by giving to any child by her the 
title she married him for. For ten years they have no child. During that time 
he has brought up Darleigh as a gentleman, put him in the army, given him 
plenty of money and so on, and 'thought he could put all right for 
Darleigh at his death.' Then Arthur was born. By that time he was 
devoted to his wife, she to him, and he hadn't the pluck to tell her. He 
was selfish and weak. No sympathy is asked for him, he is really the 
villain of the play, and I do really think there are thousands of men 
equally weak." 

Now that Sir George Dexter has had his say, let me have mine. 
The whole confusion arose from not printing on the programme the 
full title of Sir George Dexter, Bart., K.C.B. I distinctly deny that first- 
night audiences do not listen accurately " to the talk of two old men." 
They listen to every syllable of the play most carefully ; but had they heard 
Sir George Dexter describe himself as a baronet twenty times they would 
have doubted their ears when they found on the playbill he was not a 
baronet, but only a K.C.B. 


March, 1888. 
The Foyers of the Boulevard. 


r I ^HE Parisian Theatres specially devoted to drama and melo- 
drama at the period from which my recollections date, 
not including the Cirque, with its military spectacles and that 
ultima Thule, the Beaumarchais, exclusively patronized by the 
denizens of the Marais, were four in number namely, the Porte 
St. Martin, the Ambigu, the Gaite, and the Theatre Historique. 
Of these, the Ambigu alone remains unchanged ; the Porte St. 
Martin having been destroyed by fire and rebuilt, the Gaite 
transported to the Square des Arts et Metiers, and the Theatre 
Historique demolished altogether. At the time of which I speak, 
however, before M. Hausmann had conceived even the least 
audacious of his reformatory projects, the Boulevard du Temple 
with its eight theatres, large and small, adjoining each other, and 
its miscellaneous crowd of idlers, fruit sellers, and cocoa purveyors, 
presented from five P.M. till long past midnight a very different 
aspect from its comparatively deserted appearance in the year of 
grace 1883. One of these days, perhaps, I may venture on a 
gossip about the minor Thespian colonies of this once popular 
locality, but " qui trop embrasse mal etreint ;" and in limiting 
myself for the nonce to a brief review of the four leading 
establishments already mentioned, I have work enough cut out 
for me to exhaust the patience of even the most sympathetically 
indulgent reader. 

Any one commissioned to describe the foyers of the theatres in 
question, as they existed five-and-thirty years ago, would have had 
an easy task before him ; for, except as regards size, there was 


138 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

little material difference observable between them. They were 
all constructed more or less on the same model, and scantily 
furnished with the ordinary green-room requisites viz., a clock, a 
mirror in a gilt frame, and the inevitable supply of stuff-covered 
benches ranged against the walls ; that of the Porte St. Martin 
was the largest and, if possible, the dingiest, whereas the sanctum 
devoted to the artists of the newly opened Theatre Historique, 
to which I was first introduced by Madame Rey, the very 
charming representative of Madame de Nevers in " la Reine 
Margot," although of moderate dimensions, had at least the 
merit of being et fraichement decore." None of them, however, 
were sufficiently attractive to tempt me to more than an 
occasional visit, and I merely allude to them by way of justi- 
fying what has become to me a familiar and comprehensive 

I had the chance in 1844 of witnessing one of the last 
performances of the dramatized version of Eugene Sue's 
" Mysteres de Paris" at the Porte St. Martin, then under the 
management of M. Theodore Cogniard ; and shall never forget 
the impression produced on me by Frederick Lemaitre as 
Jacques Ferrand. The piece itself was simply a succession of 
ill-connected " tableaux" strung together without much apparent 
reference to each other, and the utter disregard of unities and 
artistic " dovetailedness" would have been a deathblow to Mr. 
Curdle ; but whenever Frederick was on the stage, these incon- 
gruities were more than counterbalanced by the intense power of 
his acting. I have since had ample opportunity of appreciating 
the versatile talent of this extraordinary man, having seen him 
in almost every character of his varied repertory, including such 
Protean transformations from grave to gay as " la Dame de St. 
Tropez," "le Barbier du roi d'Aragon," " Kean," "Cesar de 
Bazan," "Ruy Bias," "Robert Macaire," " Toussaint 1'Ouverture," 
and above all, what I have ever considered his masterpiece, 
" Trente ans, ou la vie d'un joueur." Nothing since the Othello 
of Edmund Kean has taken so strong a hold on my memory as 
the despairing expression of his face in the last act of Victor 
Ducange's drama ; when, breaking off part of the loaf grudgingly 
bestowed on him by the innkeeper, he glanced stealthily round to 
see if any one was watching him, and hid it beneath his vest, 
faintly whispering "pour ma famille !" So heartrending was his 


look of misery, and so irresistibly pathetic his accentuation of the 
words, that the effect was indescribable, and I can scarcely recall 
it without an involuntary shudder. Off the stage, he was some- 
what Bohemian in his habits, and by no means disinclined, when 
an occasion presented itself, to play the part of boon companion; 
he could be sad or uproariously jovial, as the fancy took him ; 
and I remember his gravely asking the clever draughtsman 
Lacauchie in my presence if in the fifth act of Lamartine's 
" Toussaint 1'Ouverture" he should make him laugh or cry. He 
was certainly capable of doing either. 

What Madame Dorval may have been in her prime, when she 
played Adele d'Hervey to Bocage's Antony, I can only gather 
from hearsay, nor was I in time to witness her triumph at the 
Theatre Fran9ais as Kitty Bell in " Chatterton" and Catarina in 
Victor Hugo's " Angelo ;" but if I may be allowed to judge of 
her excellence in these characters from my own recollections of 
her in " Trente Ans" and " Marie Jeanne," she must have been, 
in her own particular line, one of the most remarkable artists 
that ever trod the stage. I could not, however, discover either in 
her tone or manner any trace of that refinement which has ever 
been a traditional " sine qua non" at the Comedie Franaise, and 
am not surprised that her stay there was of short duration ; but 
as an actress of popular drama, impulsive and energetic even to 
coarseness, now electrifying her audience by a sudden burst of 
passion, now melting them to tears by a touch of the homeliest 
pathos, I never saw her equal. 

In addition to these two brilliant luminaries, the Porte St. 
Martin then possessed three actors of undoubted merit, Raucourt, 
Clarence and Jemma, each of whom has left his mark in the annals 
of the theatre ; the first as the Maitre d'Ecole in " Les Mysteres 
de Paris," the second (who afterwards won golden opinions at the 
Odeon in George Sand's " Francois le Champi,") as Rochegune in 
"Mathilde," and the third as Caussade in "La Dame de St. 
Tropez." Nor were the fair sex less ably represented by Mdlle. 
Clarisse Miroy, twenty years earlier the original Marie in " La 
Grace de Dieu," but as I remember her a matronly lady weighing 
some sixteen stone, and nevertheless holding her own against 
Frederick as Maritana in " Don Cesar de Bazan ;'"' the pretty 
Mdlle. Andrea, Mdlle. Dina Felix, a fairly successful copy in look 
and gesture of her sister Rachel, and Mdlle. Grave, who, like Miss 

L 2 

140 THE THE A TRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

Vincent of Victorian celebrity, from her invariably personating 
distressed and persecuted damsels with praiseworthy resignation, 
might appropriately have been denominated the " acknowledged 
heroine of domestic drama." 

Besides the class of pieces already mentioned, this theatre 
excelled in the production of "revues" and " feeries," no better 
specimen of the former speciality having ever seen the light than 
" Aujourd'hui et dans cent ans," in which Nestor, a most valuable 
member of the company, and by no means so venerable as his 
name would seem to imply, was exquisitely droll. The revival 
of the " Petites Danaides " afforded him another opportunity of 
distinguishing himself ; he remembered Potier in the part of the 
Pere Sournois, and imitated his dress, voice, and gestures with such 
surprising fidelity that old playgoers fancied themselves carried 
back to the days of their youth, and could hardly realize that they 
were applauding a copy instead of the great original. The trump 
card of the management, however, was that most splendid of all 
spectacles, "la Biche au Bois," the run of which was prodigious, 
and equally profitable to the treasurer and to the two rival res- 
taurants of the vicinity, Deffteux's and the Banquet d'Anacreon, 
the former renowned for its white curagoa, and the latter for its 
staple dish of breast of mutton fried with breadcrumbs, and served 
up with a sauce the recipe for which the chef was believed exclu- 
sively to possess. Fairy pieces, especially French ones, are not, 
as a rule, the liveliest of entertainments ; and when a man has 
undergone the penance of occupying a narrow stall from seven 
P.M. to one A.M., and of listening to a succession of dialogues of 
which he can make neither head nor tail, he is apt, as Mr. Burnand 
has it, to feel " a bit chippy " next day. Judged from a literary 
point of view, the " feerie " of the brothers Cogniard was fully as 
tedious as the generality of its kind ; but as a marvel of scenic 
decoration and I would particularly instance the " Forest of 
Sycamores " and the "Castle of Steel"- it has never, within my 
recollection, been surpassed. 

Little by little, the old actors, including Moessard, who had 
played the virtuous and heavy fathers for nearly half a century, 
disappeared, and made way for fresh candidates for popularity ; 
any temporary decline of the receipts being at once remedied by 
a revival of the " Tour de Nesle," almost as safe a stock-piece as 
the " Memoires du Diable " at the Vaudeville. Fechter appeared 


and conquered in " Claudie " and " le Fils de la Nuit ;" Melingue 
(of whom I have sufficiently spoken elsewhere) moulded a statue 
in " Benvenuto Cellini," and dashed off a sketch in " Salvator 
Rosa ;" Ligier deserted the Theatre Frangais to rant for ten louis 
a night in Victor Sejour's " Richard the Third ;" and Mdlle. Georges, 
enfeebled by age and infirmities, struggled painfully through a few 
performances of " la Chambre Ardente." None of these, however, 
met with such signal success as the " Jack Sheppard " of Harrison 
Ainsworth, metamorphosed into f< les Chevaliers du Brouillard," 
the hero of which was, and still is, occasionally personated by that 
very clever actress, Madame Marie Laurent. Wishing to know 
my old friend's opinion as to the relative merits of this talented 
lady and of our own admirable Mrs. Keeley, I wrote to him on 
the subject a year or two before his death, and subjoin his answer, 
in which, I need hardly add, I most heartily and entirely coincide. 
" In reply to your inquiry, I can say without a moment's hesita- 
tion that, as a whole, I preferred Mrs. Keeley 's ' Jack Sheppard ' 
to that of Madame Marie Laurent ; though there were particular 
points in which the admirable French actress far excelled the 
other. But both pleased me so much that I scarcely like to insti- 
tute a comparison between them. Madame Marie Laurent's was 
undoubtedly a more vigorous conception of the part, but I cannot 
give the palm to her." 

From the Porte St. Martin to the Ambigu was merely a stone's- 
throw, and I could not have timed my first visit to the latter more 
propitiously than I did ; for the " Bohemiens de Paris" was in 
full swing, an essentially popular drama, which, in the eyes of the 
frequenters of the theatre, possessed every element of success. 
In the first place, Chilly was the " traitre," and as such nightly 
overwhelmed with execrations from the " titis" in the gallery ; 
and, secondly, the very catching " ronde" beginning " Fouler le 
bitume" was composed by the leader of the orchestra Artus, and 
sung by Adalbert. No piece in those days was considered com- 
plete without this last indispensable requisite, M. Artus having 
a certain flow of melody highly appreciated by the " gods," and 
Adalbert being they alone knew why, for he had the thinnest 
of tenor voices and a very hazy conception of the art of acting 
their idol. Chilly, or M. de Chilly, as he was afterwards 
designated when manager of the Odeon, must not be so sum- 
marily dismissed, for a more intelligent and thoroughly con- 

142 THE THE A TRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

scientious artist has rarely been seen in a Boulevard theatre ; 
with the single exception of the Senator Bird (Gallice " Beard") 
in a version of " Uncle Tom's Cabin," the characters assigned him 
were almost invariably those of the stereotype stage villains, in 
which, without the slightest tendency to exaggeration or rant, he 
was wonderfully effective. I remember his telling me that on 
the first night of " les Mousquetaires," his performance of Mor- 
daunt had so worked upon the feelings of the impressionable 
gallery, that his exit at the stage door was impatiently awaited 
by a menacing crowd, loudly proclaiming their intention of 
" doing for" him, so that he had literally to fly for his life. Other 
excellent members of the company were St. Ernest, one of the 
best " peres nobles" I ever saw ; Montdidier from the Gymnase, 
whose broad, dashing style of acting exactly suited the require- 
ments of the theatre ; Matis, who had the amiable weakness of 
exhibiting his portrait lithographed by himself in every print- 
seller's window ; and that racy child of Momus, Laurent, than 
whom no droller "comique" could be found from the Madeleine 
to the Bastille. Among the ladies two stood out pre-eminent, 
Madame Guyon and Madame Naptal-Arnault ; the former, who 
died societaire of the Comedie Francaise, was the Eliza of " la 
Case de 1'Oncle Tom," and on her first entrance presented so 
picturesque an appearance and looked so splendidly handsome 
that the audience rose eu masse, and applauded her until their 
fingers ached before she had time to utter a word. Madame 
Naptal-Arnault (whose husband, by the way, proved a sorry 
substitute for Melingue as Monte Cristo), was not only a very 
pretty woman, but a delightfully sympathetic actress, and by 
many degrees the most ladylike " jeune premiere" on the Boule- 
vard boards : her creation of a Breton peasant girl in Frederic 
Soulie^s last and best drama, " la Closerie des Genets," still lingers 
in my memory as a type of simple and unaffected grace. The 
manager of the Ambigu was then M. Antony Beraud, whose 
ready pen supplied at least half the pieces of the repertory ; 
in a letter addressed to me in 1846, referring to my recently 
published " Theatres of Paris," he mentions, among others, " le 
Monstre," an adaptation from Frankenstein, for which T. P. Cooke 
was specially engaged, " Faust" (one of Frederick Lemaitre's 
triumphs), and a legendary drama, at the first performance of 
which I was present, called the " Miracle des Roses/' 


If I recollect rightly, my " debut" as one of the Gaite audience 
>ok place during the long run of the " Canal St. Martin, ' a 
genuine local drama, full of startling situations and effects, the 
leading personages in which were sustained by Surville, a pains- 
taking and sterling artist ; Delaistre, the " traitre" of the company, 
gifted with a cavernous bass voice, who rolled his r's after the 
fashion of Beauvallet of the Theatre Francais ; and Mdlle. Sarah 
Felix, Rachel's elder sister ; this lady, whose dramatic capabilities 
were not of the highest order, wisely retired from the stage some 
years later, and devoted her energies to the composition of an 
"infallible" specific for the embellishment of the hair. A far 
cleverer actor was Madame Abit, to whose exertions the authors 
of " Madeleine" and " la Soeur du Muletier" were indebted for a 
very notable augmentation of their " droits ;" pathetic parts were 
her forte, but she now and then, unhappily, betrayed a leaning 
towards exaggeration, which was the more to be regretted, as, in 
other respects, her delivery was irreproachable. On my venturing 
to hint as much to my neighbour in the stalls, where we were 
cooped up like herrings in a cask, " Monsieur," he replied, with 
a significant shrug, and to this day I do not know whether he 
meant to perpetuate a pun or not, " C'est son habitude !" Gouget, 
then a young beginner, has since made his mark, and the ener- 
getic Deshayes has left a worthy successor in his son Paul ; but 
the mainstay of the theatre, according to public estimation, was 
Albert, the original representative of Eugene Sue's " Atar Gall ;" 
of all the insupportable ranters I ever had the misfortune of 
hearing, not even excepting " Brayvo Hicks " of transpontine 
renown, he was the very worst ; Ligier, in " Richard the Third," 
was bad enough in all conscience, but he could not hold a candle 
to his colleague at the Gaite. Such as he was, however, his 
name in the bills had a magical influence on the receipts, which, 
from a managerial point of view, is assuredly the most satisfactory 
criterion of popularity. 

A very great favourite with the masses was Mdlle. Leontine, 
familiarly called " Chonchon," from her exclusive appropriation of 
that character in " La Grace de Dieu ;" she was short and squat in 
figure, with staring lack-lustre eyes and a squeaking voice, but her 
cool, take-it-easy style of acting was highly relished, and no 
novelty in the shape of a fairy piece or spectacle had the remotest 
chance of success without her co-operation. She was then engaged 

144 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

in the Herculean task of enlivening the pointless dialogue of that 
ineffably tedious production " Les Sept Chateaux du Diable," 
together with Serres, formerly the Bertrand of " L'Auberge des 
Adrets," but, when I saw him, on his last legs, and Francisque 
" Jeune," who, having borne this distinctive title during the life- 
time of his elder brother, retained it until his death. Apropos of 
this amusing actor and indefatigable bibliomaniac, the following 
anecdote, if not new, may be relied on as authentic ; for I had it 
from his own lips. He was starring in a small country town, and, 
having to perform in the course of the evening the part of a chasseur, 
charged the waiter of the inn where he lodged, a stage-struck 
Jocrisse, who acted for the nonce as his dresser, to let him know 
when the first piece was over, as he must dress quickly, having to* 
put on a pair of gaiters very difficult to button ; and this done, 
sat quietly down to dinner. By-and-by his messenger returned 
with a very self-satisfied air. 

" Is the first piece finished ?" inquired Francisque. 

" They are beginning the overture of the second," cheerfully 
replied the waiter, " but you needn't hurry, for / hare buttoned 
your gaiters from top to bottom /" 

A popular stock-piece at this theatre for many years was the 
" Courrier de Lyon," known in England as the " Lyons Mail," 
Lacressonniere personating Lesurques and Dubosq, and Paulin 
Menier the horse-dealer, Choppard. The first-named, an accom- 
plished comedian, had already made a hit at the Ambigu by hts 
really fine performance of Charles the First in " Les Mousquetaires," 
and subsequently migrated to the Theatre Historique. As for 
Paulin Menier, he was one of those fantastic sons of Thespis who 
excel in the creation of an episodical part, but are unequal to the 
task of sustaining a leading character ; his Choppard, a type exactly 
suited to his peculiar talent, was as perfect a piece of acting as I 
ever remember seeing. At intervals, in addition to the regular 
company, a succession of " stars " were engaged for the run of 
their respective novelties ; notably, Laferriere in " Le Medecin des 
Enfants," Lafont, Madame Doche and the charming "ingenue" 
Augusta in " Germaine," and Numa in a revival of that most 
ancient of all fairy spectacles " Le Pied de Mouton/'' a cant phrase 
which repeated ad infinitum will serve as an answer to any one 
desirous of knowing more about the Gaite than I have space to 
tell him ; " clemandez plutot a Lazarille !" 


When Alexandra Dumas first projected the establishment of a 
theatre, chiefly destined for the production of his own pieces, a 
series of very droll caricatures by Cham appeared in an illus- 
trated paper, one representing an actor's horror on being informed 
by the dramatist that he could only be engaged on condition of his 
imbibing a decoction of arsenic in the poisoning scenes, and 
another depicting the stupefaction of an old gentleman when 
shown the analysis of " Monte-Cristo," comprising four ponderous 
volumes in folio. It was unfortunate both for the originator of 
the scheme (who had counted on the patronage of the Orleans 
family) and for the shareholders, that shortly after the opening of 
the Theatre Historique, the Revolution of 1848 broke out, and the 
receipts necessarily dwindled down to nothing ; for, although 
matters ultimately improved, the new venture never entirely re- 
covered the blow. This was the more regrettable, as it possessed 
every element of success ; the company was excellent, the dramas 
produced were eminently attractive, and the minutest details of 
scenery, costume and general " getting-up," were as perfect as 
good taste and liberal expenditure could possibly render them. 
I have not space to dwell on the picturesque effects of " la Reine 
Margot" (the opening piece), " le Chevalier de Maison Rouge," 
" Monte Cristo/' " la Jeunesse des Mousquetaires," " Urbain 
Grandier," and a dozen other specimens of Dumas's versatile 
genius, my business being mainly with the artists who figured in 
them ; and of these (setting aside the ubiquitous and inevitable 
Melingue) no one demands a special mention more than Rouviere. 
This most unequal of actors, from the commencement to the pre- 
mature close of his career, was a constant puzzle to the critics, 
who could never make up their minds how to judge him, and by 
whom the epithet " journalier " was generally and correctly applied 
to him. With him from the sublime to the ridiculous was but a 
step ; he was either superlatively excellent or execrable, as the 
fancy took him ; now exciting his audience to enthusiasm, now 
sinking many degrees below mediocrity. I have seen him play 
Hamlet (in Dumas's version) admirably, and no better represen- 
tative of the vacillating Charles the Ninth in " la Reine Margot " 
could have been desired ; as the Abbe Faria in " Monte Cristo," 
on the contrary, he displayed such utter incompetency, that on 
the second performance the part was entrusted to another actor. 
His colleague, Bignon, who married the celebrated Madame 

146 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

Albert, was altogether of a different stamp : thoroughly reliable 
and conscientious in all he undertook, he contributed largely to 
the success of the " Chevalier de Maison Rouge/' by his re- 
markable personation of Dixmer, completely merging his own 
individuality in that of the character represented by him, and to 
quote his memorable words, " entrant carrement dans la peau du 

With the exception of Mdlle. Lucie, the energetic Femme 
Tison of " Maison Rouge," and the stately Atala Beauchene, both 
old stagers, the principal ladies of the company were mostly new 
to the Parisian boards, but soon made themselves at home there ; 
these were Madame Perrier from Lyons, afterwards Madame 
Lacressonniere, expressly engaged for " la Reine Margot," the 
pretty Mdlle. Maillet, Mdlle. Isabelle Constant, a graceful but 
rather lachrymose blonde, and Mdlle. Beatrix Person. This very 
intelligent and highly gifted actress proved a trump card to the 
management, and more particularly to Dumas himself, who found 
in her the rara avis he had long been in search of: an artist 
capable of interpreting in an effective and intensely realistic 
fashion two of his most powerful creations, Milady in " les Mous- 
quetaires," and the terrible Carconte in " Monte Cristo." 

I have purposely kept to the last my own especial favourites, 
Boutin, the inimitable Caderousse, and Colbrun, the representative 
par excellence of the genuine Boulevard " gamin," for the sake of 
winding up with a little anecdote concerning them. While on 
my way one evening to dine at Bonvalet's, I observed a crowd 
assembled at the corner of the Faubourg du Temple, and on 
approaching nearer, beheld to my astonishment Boutin executing 
an indescribable fantasia on a cracked violin by way of accom- 
panying Colbrun, who was bellowing at the top of his voice the 
then popular ronde of "Paris la Nuit." The two performers were 
surrounded by a throng of appreciative auditors, including a blind 
man evidently the owner of the instrument, for whose benefit the 
concert (!) had apparently been organized, and who was listening, 
rapt in admiration, to it must be owned the most atrocious 
cacophony I ever heard. Presently, after a final ear-splitting 
explosion, the violin having been restored to its proprietor, the 
two virtuosoes, hand in hand, proceeded to gather in their harvest ; 
sous flowed in rapidly in response to the appeal " Pour 1'aveugle 
s'il vous plait ! " and in a very few minutes the grateful recipient, 

MARCH i, 1883.] JOE MILLER. 147 

richer than he had been for many a day, went on his way 

" Vingt-trois francs cinquante de recette !" I heard Boutin 
remark to his diminutive comrade, as they sped away in the 
direction of the Theatre Historique ; " Mazette ! Via ce que 
c'est que de travailler pour des connaisseurs !" 

" Surtout," drily suggested Colbrun, " lorsqu'ils sont sourds !" 

Joe Miller. 


r I ^O most people, Joe Miller is rather a name than a man : the 
-* name is famous, while of the man who bore the name so little 
is known. By a figure of speech, any specially old and effete joke is 
described as a " Joe Miller," because of a little volume entitled 
"Joe Miller's Jests, or the Wit's Vade-Mecum," first published, at 
the price of one shilling, in the year 1739, and popularly sup- 
posed to be a perfect encyclopaedia of antiquated facetiousness. 
As a matter of fact, however, the veritable Joe Miller had no 
connection or acquaintance with " Joe Miller's Jests." The work 
appeared one year after his death, and owed its existence to a 
certain John Mottley, a gentleman of good family, whom circum- 
stances had constrained to live precariously by such use as he 
could make of his wits and his pen. Compiling the Jest Book 
he assumed the name of Elijah Jenkins, and affected to be a friend 
of the recently departed Miller. The catalogues of dramatic 
poets include the name of John Mottley as the author of " The 
Imperial Captain," a tragedy dealing with the history of Genseric, 
king of the Vandals, printed in 1720, and performed for four 
nights at the theatre in LincolnVInn-Fields ; and of a comedy 
called " The Widow Bewitched," successfully presented at the 
Goodman's Fields Theatre in 1730. In his youth he had been 
placed in the Excise Office ; he resigned his appointment there,, 
however, Lord Halifax having promised him a Commissionership 
of Wine Licenses ; the promise was not kept, nor did Sir Robert 

148 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

Walpole fulfil certain hopes he had encouraged that he would 
bestow upon Mottley a place in the Exchequer. " Among 
several pieces he has given to the public," 7 writes a biographer, 
" is that which bears the title of ' Joe Miller's Jests,' a collection 
made by him from other books, and a great part of it supplied 
by his memory from original stories recollected in his former 
conversations/' Mottley lived to see his Jest Book become a 
sort of standard work ; he died in 1750. The book, it may be 
added, is described on its title-page as " a collection of the 
most brilliant jests, the politest repartees, the most elegant bon- 
mots, and most pleasant short stories in the English language, first 
carefully collected in the company and many of them transcribed 
from the mouth of the facetious gentlemen whose name they 
bear, and now set forth and published by his lamented friend and 
former companion, Elijah Jenkins, Esq." The work was " most 
humbly inscribed" to " those choice spirits of the age, Captain 
Bodens, Mr. Alexander Pope, Mr. Professor Lacy, Mr. Orator 
Henley, and Job Baker, the Kettle-Drummer." This dedication 
is, no doubt, to be viewed as a contribution to the drollery of the 

At Drury Lane, in November, 1709, the character of Teague, 
in Sir Robert Howard's comedy of " The Committee," was per- 
sonated, as the playbills stated, " by one who never appeared on 
the stage before ;" and this anonymous player is supposed to have 
been Josias or Joseph Miller, the popular Joe of later years. In 
the same season Miller is credited with a performance of the 
servant Jeremy, in Congreve's comedy of " Love for Love/' There 
is no further trace of the actor for some four years. In 1714, 
however, the name of Miller reappears in the playbills, and he is 
found representing Kate Matchlock, in Steele's comedy of " The 
Funeral ;" the character had been originally assumed by Bullock, 
and usually, it seems, Kate Matchlock was personated by a male 
performer. Miller was also allotted the character of Sneak, in 
Charles Johnson's " Country Lasses, or the Custom of the Manor ;" 
Sir Roger, in Gay's tragi-comi-pastoral farce of " What d'ye Call 
It ?" Clincher, Junior, in " The Constant Couple ;" Old Wilful, in 
" The Double Gallant ;" Tallboy, in " The Jovial Crew ;" Cokes, 
in " Bartholomew Fair ;" and Sir Thomas Reveller, in " Greenwich 
Park." Miller continued a member of the Drury Lane company 
for many years, his popularity increasing more and more. The 

MARCH i, 1883.] JOE MILLER. 149 

majority of the plays in which he appeared, however, can scarcely 
be known, even by name, to the public of to-day. In the season 
of 1715-16, Miller was to be seen as Sir Jolly Jumble, in "The 
Soldier's Fortune ;" as Sir Amorous La Foole, in " The Silent 
Woman ;" as the Coachman, in Addison's comedy of " The 
Drummer ;" as Trico, in " Ignoramus, or the English Lawyer ;" as 
Sir Mannerly Shallow, in " Country Wit ;" and as the Mad English- 
man, in " The Pilgrim." The works of the Elizabethan dramatists 
were still frequently presented upon the stage in turn with more 
recent productions. Miller undertook the character of Lance, 
in Fletcher's "Wit without Money," as it was "altered by several 
persons of quality ;" he appeared too as Clodpole, in " The 
Amorous Widow," Betterton's adaptation of Moliere's " George 
Dandin ;" as Sir Harry Gubbin, in Steele's " Tender Husband ;" 
as Sir Martin Marrall, in the comedy so called ; as Don Lewis, in 
" Love Makes a Man ;" and as Sir Joseph Wittol, in " The Old 
Bachelor." His success in this part was so great, that he presented 
the comedy upon the occasion of his benefit, when Hogarth came 
to his assistance, and designed the ticket of admission, which 
exhibited the scene in the third act, where Sir Joseph's companion 
and bully Noll is severely kicked by Sharper. The engraving; 
from Hogarth's design is now a very scarce print. 

It is evidence of the popularity of Joe Miller that in 1721 he 
became a manager of a theatre in Bartholomew Fair, Smithfield, 
his fellow-managers being the favourite comedians, Pinkethman 
and the diminutive Henry Norris, generally known as " Jubilee 
Dickey," from his successful performance of Dickey, in Farquhar's 
" Constant Couple." The London Daily Post for August, 1721, 
announced that at the Hartshorn Inn, Smithfieid, near Pie Corner, 
during the time of Bartholomew Fair, there would be acted " a 
celebrated droll," called " The Injured General, or the Blind Beggar 
of Bethnal Green," and " The Woman Never Vexed." It was stated 
that all the parts would be performed by the comedians from 
Drury Lane ; " the part of Scarecrowe, the foolish country squire, 
by Mr. Miller ; Gudgeon, his domestic servant, Mr. Norris, alias 
Jubilee Dickey ; the Undertaker, Mr. Pinkethman," &c. &c. ; and 
the public was further informed that the boxes had been enlarged 
and made " more commodious for the quality." In the following 
year Miller appears to have dissolved partnership with Pinkethman 
and Norris. The newspapers advertised the important fact : 

150 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

" Miller is not with Pinkethman but by himself, at the Angel 
Tavern, next door to the King's Bench, and acts in a new droll, 
called ' The Faithful Couple, or the Royal Shepherdess,' with a 
very pleasant entertainment between old Hob and his Wife, and 
the comical humour of Mopsey and Collin, with a variety of 
singing and dancing." In conclusion, Miller indulged in verse, 
and proclaimed himself 

" The only comedian now that dare 
Vie with the world, and challenge the Fair." 

The droll of " The Faithful Couple, or the Royal Shepherdess," 
has the air of being an adaptation of " A Winter's Tale," just as 
another droll, produced by Mr. Miller a few years later, and 
entitled " The Tempest, or the Distressed Lovers ; with the 
Comical Humours of the Enchanted Scotchman or Jockey, and 
the three Witches," seems to have been a compound burlesque of 
two other of Shakspeare's plays. 

Miller, it may be noted, represented Aspin, a comic servant, in 
the comedy of " Love in a Veil," by Richard Savage, on its pro- 
duction in 1717; he was also the original representative of the 
Miller in Dodsley's farce, "The King and the Miller of Mansfield;" 
of John Moody, in " The Provoked Husband ;" of Brush, in "The 
Village Opera ;" and Cimon in Gibber's " Love in a Riddle/' In 
Shakespeare Miller seems often to have appeared with credit. He 
undertook from time to time the characters of Osric, Silence, 
Roderigo, the Host of the Garter, Lord Sands, one of the Carriers 
in " Henry the Fourth," one of the Citizens in " Julius Caesar," the 
First Witch, the First Gravedigger, and the Clown in " Measure 
for Measure." He also represented Trincalo in Dryden and 
Davenant's perversion of Shakespeare's "Tempest." From 1 7 14 to 
1729 Miller was continuously engaged at Drury Lane; then for 
a season or two his services appear to have been dispensed with. 
In his " Dramatic Miscellanies," Davies explains that it was owing 
to the " mean economy" of the managers that Miller was driven 
from Drury Lane to the Goodman's Fields' Theatre. " A lively 
comic actor, and a favourite of the town," he had often appeared 
successfully as the sailor Ben in " Love for Love," having first 
played the part in 1720 ; but by "a piece of manager's craft," as 
Davies describes it, the part was taken from him and handed over 
to Cibber, who was now more than sixty years old, and who was 

MARCH i, 1883.] JOE MILLER. 151 

not suited either in voice or aspect to " the rough animation of a 
sailor.'' Gibber, however, had studied Dogget, the original per- 
sonator of Ben, and was able to imitate his method of repre- 
senting the character. At the Goodman's Fields' Theatre, which 
had been "newly fitted up and made more commodious and warm," 
Miller seems to have repeated certain of his more admired imper- 
sonations, such as Teague and Ben, John Moody, Sir Joseph 
Wittol, and the Mad Englishman. He appeared also as Clincher, 
Senior, as Marplot in "The Busy Body," as Jobson in "The 
Devil to Pay," Foigard in "The Beaux's Stratagem/' and Cacafogo 
in " Rule a Wife and Have a Wife/' In the following season, as 
Davies relates, the Drury Lane managers were obliged to recall 
Miller to his old station. They imagined that the public would 
be interested in Miller's resumption of the part of Ben, and that 
curiosity to compare his performance with Gibber's would result 
in several full houses. Miller was heartily welcomed back to 
Drury Lane, but the managers were, nevertheless, Davies informs 
us, disappointed in their expectations ; for Gibber, though he acted 
Ben but two or three times, "took off the edge of appetite to see 
Miller." At the close of the season Miller was to be found again 
at Bartholomew and Southwark, his partners now being his fellow- 
players, Mills and Bates. Among other entertainments was 
presented the tragedy of " Jane Shore," with " The Comical 
Humours of Sir Anthony Noodle and his Man Weazle." Miller's 
salary at Drury Lane seems never to have been higher than five 
pounds per week ; but this was deemed a considerable salary in 
those times. 

In 1733 Miller was one of the actors who seceded from Drury 
Lane, then under the management of Mr. Highmore, a gentleman 
of fashion and an amateur performer, and formed a sort of com- 
monwealth company at the little theatre in the Haymarket, calling 
themselves the comedians of His Majesty's Revels. The experi- 
ment was not, perhaps, very successful; for, early in 1734, the 
seceders returned to their duties at Drury Lane, Mr. Highmore 
having retired from his position as manager in favour of Mr. Fleet- 
wood. Miller reappeared in several of his best characters, the 
comedy of the " Provoked Husband" being reproduced for the 
benefit. It had become usual, apparently, to present the play in 
an abbreviated form ; the bills of the night announced that " the 
original scenes of John Moody will be restored, the part to be 

152 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

performed by Miller." The popular comedian remained a member 
of the Drury Lane company until the close of the season in 1738. 
In the London Daily Post and General Advertiser of the i/th 
August, 1738, there appeared the announcement: "Yesterday 
morning, died of pleurisy, Mr. Joseph Miller, a celebrated comedian, 
belonging to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, much admired for 
his performance in general, but particularly in the character of 
Teague in ' The Committee, or the Faithful Irishman.' " Teague 
had been the first, and it was almost the last, part in which he 
appeared. Miller's " Irishman" delighted his English patrons, but 
it seems that the " gentlemen of Ireland " would not admit that 
the comedian possessed "the brogue." However, as Victor states, in 
his " History of the Theatres," Miller " substituted something in the 
room of it which made his Teague very diverting to an English 
audience," and perhaps more so than if played by an Irishman, 
for, Victor adds, " I have seen that character so extremely well 
acted in Dublin that I did not understand one word the actor said." 
On the same authority, we learn that the favourite actor boasted 
little education of any kind, and had not even learnt to read. He 
was a married man, but it was said of him that his principal 
object in marrying was to have a wife who was able to read his 
parts to him. 

Joe Miller was buried in the churchyard, in Portugal Street, 
of St. Clement Danes : Stephen Duck, the Wiltshire peasant-poet, 
writing his epitaph, which recorded that he was a " tender husband, 
a sincere friend, a facetious companion, and an excellent comedian." 
Peter Cunningham describes the headstone, in 1850, as "half 
concealed in summer by a clump of sunflowers ;" but the churchyard 
has in later years become the site of King's College Hospital. 
Close at hand, in Portsmouth Street, stood the " Black Jack Tavern," 
the favourite " house of call" of Joe Miller and other of the players. 
The " Black Jack," we are told, was long distinguished as " The 
Jump," that agile criminal, Jack Sheppard, having upon a parti- 
cular occasion jumped from one of the first-floor windows to 
escape the emissaries of Jonathan Wild. 

" Joe Miller's Jest Book" has passed through innumerable 
editions, and has even been reprinted of recent years. The third 
edition, published in 1739, was enriched with a portrait of the 
comedian. He appears as a robust, round-faced, broad-featured, 
open-eyed gentleman, with a curious expression of comical stolidity. 

MARCH i, 1883.] RE VERIE. 1 5 3 


THE eastern sky was blushing red 
'Neath kiss of dawn-gleam's trembling ray ; 
On seraph-pinions earthward sped, 
'Midst fleecy cloudlets soared King Day. 
On earth, the perfume-spreading flowers 
Were bathing in the dew's bright showers ; 
Their fragrance joined the glorious light : 
Creation woke to new delight. 
Thus, of the roseate blush of morn 
And flowers' fragrance, love was born. 


The morning passed, and far and near 

The child of sunlight wandered round ; 

To youth and maid becoming dear 

It made their hearts with rapture bound. 

Its perfumed smile created pleasures, 

Its laughing look discovered treasures, 

It spread its blessings everywhere ; 

It vanquished fear and banished care. 

It first to man taught love's sweet kiss ; 

Love's breath brought joy, love's touch meant bliss. 

To ev'ning shadow changed the light, 

O'er Nature spread a dreary haze ; 

In sombre brooding, came the night 

And chased away the cheery rays. 

With chilly breath then o'er them creeping-, 

It left the sunborn flowers weeping. 

'Neath touch so rough, the child of day 

In silent quiver shrank away 

And soon its latest pray'r it sighed. 

Both love and flowers drooped and died. 




154 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, ,883. 

Miss Winifred Emery. 

IV/riSS WINIFRED EMERY, whose photograph in the 
* character of Lydia Languish appears in this Magazine, 
is a grand-daughter of the famous John Emery, and the only 
daughter of the late Samuel Anderson (" Sam") Emery. She 
made her first appearance in London as a child in a pantomime 
produced under the direction of Mr. F. B. Chatterton, at 
the Princess's Theatre, in 1875. She did not appear again in 
London until Easter, 1879, when she acted in "Man is not 
Perfect" at the Imperial Theatre for a fortnight under the 
management of Miss Litton. In Jujy of the same year she com- 
menced an engagement with Mr. Wilson Barrett, and during a 
three weeks' stay at the Grand Theatre, Leeds, and the Theatre 
Royal, Hull, she played Phcebe in " As You Like It," Susanne 
in " East Lynne," Lady Cootes in " Jane Shore," and Eve in 
"Charity." On September 20 following she commenced an 
engagement at the Court Theatre, acting, in "Fernande," and 
afterwards in "A Clerical Error," in which piece she appeared as 
Minnie Heritage. On December i 5 she represented Mrs. Brown 
in "The Old Love and The New," and on May i, 1880, she 
acted Nichette in " Heartsease." Miss Winifred Emery then 
went to the Haymarket Theatre where, on August 2, she played 
Rosalie in " A Bridal Tour." At the same theatre she also 
played Lady Clara St. John in " A Fair Encounter," and Lady 
Janet Trevor in " Salt Tears." Returning to the Court Theatre 
in October, she acted Margaret Curl in " Mary Stuart," and 
on December 6, Kate Mowbray in " Two Old Boys." On 
the nth of the same month she played the Duchess D'Almont in 
" Adrienne Lecouvreur." During the run of "Romeo and Juliet" 
at the Court Theatre Miss Winifred Emery joined, with Mr. 
Wilson Barrett's permission, the company of Miss Isabel Bateman 
at Sadler's Wells Theatre, where she acted in Mr. Henry A. Jones's 
play, "His Wife." Going to the St. James's Theatre on May 28, 
1 88 1, she played Mabel Meryon in " Coralie," and on July 2 she 
commenced an engagement with Mr. Henry Irving at the Lyceum 
Theatre, where she acted Nerissa in " The Merchant of Venice," 


Oil that I should live to hear myself called spinster ! ' 



Daisy in " Daisy's Escape," and Annette in " The Bells." She 
next appeared at the Vaudeville Theatre with Mr. John S: Clarke, 
acting Mrs. Featherly in " A Widow Hunt," and on September 5 
of the same year she commenced a tour with Mr. Irving's com- 
pany, playing the same parts which she had acted previously at 
the Lyceum, with the exception of Jessica which she represented 
in " The Merchant of Venice" in place of Nerissa. Returning to 
London with Mr. Irving, Miss Winifred Emery played Lottie in 
the revival of "Two Roses" at the Lyceum on December 26, 
1 88 r. On March 1 3 following she acted Mrs. Bunny in " Auntie" 
at Toole's Theatre, and on the Qth of last December she played 
Lydia Languish in the revival of " The Rivals" at the Vaudeville 
Theatre. It should also be noted that Miss Emery has acted in 
Mr. F. H. Macklin's series of performances at the Crystal Palace, 
Mirza in " The Palace of T/uth," Cynisca in " Pygmalion and 
Galatea," and Martha in " Little Em'ly." 

Eden and Excelsior. 

/CONCURRENTLY with the death of M. Gambetta, the 
v - x ' arrest of Prince Napoleon, and the excitement thereby 
occasioned in the political world of Paris, occurred a sensation in 
the theatrical world perhaps even more interesting to the theatre- 
loving Parisian public because more novel than the continual 
changes of Ministry which " custom" hath to a certain extent 
" staled" in their sight. I refer to the opening of a new theatre, 
the " Eden," and the production there of an extraordinary ballet 
" Excelsior," which has previously been performed for some 
months with unprecedented success in Italy. 

It is this spectacle that, with "Fedora" at the Vaudeville, is 
attracting " all Paris ;" and as it is not unlikely that the ballet 
will ere long appear in London, a short analysis of it may be 
found interesting to readers of THE THEATRE. 

But before proceeding, I must ask the readers' indulgence for a 
few remarks upon the Eden Theatre itself, which is alone worth a 

M 2 

156 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

visit. The Eden Theatre (the very name is attractive, being so 
enigmatical) is situated close to the Grand Opera House, and pre- 
sents a very handsome stone elevation in the Alhambra style. 
The seats are of two kinds namely, those on the ground floor, 
fauteuils d'orchcstrc, and those in a circle above (horseshoe in 
shape) fauteuils de balcon, the remainder of the accommodation 
being for standing or promenading. The ceiling, supported by 
enormous nude female figures, is finely painted by Clairin, and 
repays a careful study. Immediately behind the balcony, and 
extending the whole length of the circle, is a space for promenad- 
ing, similar to that at the ill-fated Alhambra Theatre, and opening 
off this are three immense halls one on either side and one at 
the back of the house. That on the left-hand side facing the 
stage has a glass roof, and is decorated with palms and rockery, 
and is suggestive of the Floral Hall at Covent Garden. Of the 
beauty of the other two halls it is impossible to convey any 
adequate idea : they must be seen. Decorated in the Alhambra 
style, the detail of the architecture is "picked out" with choco- 
late, blue, pink, fern, and gold in such beautiful harmony and 
gradation that, in spite of the many colours, the effect is not 
gaudy, but most delicate and chaste. The side of these halls 
abutting on the house is open, so that the interior is visible from 
all parts of the theatre ; and, as one looks at them from this point 
of view, an answer to the theatre's enigmatical cognomen at once 
suggests itself: this must be Eden or fairy land. In each of the 
halls there takes place some form of musical entertainment during 
the long entr'actes of the ballet, and thither accordingly flock 
nearly the entire audience to promenade and see the decora- 
tion more closely, or smoke a cigarette, or quietly enjoy the 
refreshment proffered by some neat-handed Phyllis in fancy 
costume, till the orchestra gives warning that the curtain is about 
to reascend. 

So much for the house and its attractions, which must be seen 
in situ to be enjoyed. Now for the ballet itself, which is capable 
of transportation, and which, I trust, will ere long visit this 

The performers number over 450 men, women, and children 
the last-named playing with wonderful skill and spirit in addition 
to the twenty or more who in dumb show aid the development of 
the different incidents, which, distributed over twelve scenes, illus- 


tratc the triumph of Civilization (La Lumiere) over Ignorance and 
Prejudice (L'Obscurantisme), the former being represented by a 
very substantial but graceful being, clad in white satin and gold, 
and the latter by a man of Mephistophelean aspect. The first two 
scenes from the prologue and, although from a ballet point of 
view, the most beautiful in the whole production are almost 
devoid of incident, but serve as an introduction to the struggle 
about to follow between the characters before mentioned. 

Scene 3 introduces us to a village on the banks of the Weser, 
where is taking place a fete in honour of the return of one of the 
young villagers who has been successful in the regatta. He is 
challenged to another contest, and the competitors are about to 
embark when L'Obscurantisme enters and rails the villagers upon 
the feebleness of their manual power, for behold coming down the 
river a steamboat piloted by its inventor, Denis Papin. This the 
villagers destroy with hatchets and sink it and its inventor, much 
to the delight of the fiend who instigates the deed. His triumph 
is, however, short-lived ; for the scene changes to New York 
harbour, with Brooklyn Suspension-bridge, and La Lumiere is seen 
consoling Papin, who is at her feet, as trains rush to and fro 
across the long bridge, and a large ship steams majestically into 
the harbour. Thus ends the first incident, as the others will be 
seen to end, with the defeat of L'Obscurantisme, who falls appa- 
rently lifeless as the curtain descends. 

The next scene represents the laboratory of Volta, who is dis- 
covered intently engaged with an electric battery, and whose 
gestures betoken alternately failure and success of his experiment. 
The latter finally triumphs, much to the chagrin of L'Obscurantisme, 
who is an unseen onlooker, and whose mood alternates with that 
of the experimenter ; presently, Volta having left the chamber, 
the fiend meddles with the battery and sustains a shock ; this 
annoys and puzzles him, and he is about to destroy the apparatus, 
when La Lumiere again appears and overcomes him, whilst the 
scene changes to the telegraph office at Washington, where wires 
are seen, and the ticking of electric needles is heard, and all is 
bustle and activity. A ballet here ensues of telegraph clerks in 
a pretty costume, and all carrying huge telegraph envelopes. The 
ninth scene represents the desert, with the sphinx and a pyramid 
in the foreground ; a caravan traversing this, formerly, desolate 
region is overtaken by brigands, and a desperate encounter ensues 

158 THE THE A TRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

of the most lively description, horses galloping to and fro, swords 
clashing, pistols firing, the conflict being gradually obscured as a 
simoom arises. The chief characters in this scene call for much 
praise, the aged father and husband making desperate but in- 
effectual efforts to save his wife and child, and the distress and love 
of the wife herself being excellently depicted ; indeed the whole 
scene shows the most admirable stage management. The sand- 
storm clearing off introduces us to the Suez Canal in Ismailia, 
and from personal knowledge of the locus in quo, I can speak to 
the truthfulness with which this, the only picturesque part of the 
canal, is depicted. The occasion is the inauguration of the canal, 
and the stage is crowded with natives of every nationality. A 
little piece of pantomime is here introduced, La Lumiere flirting 
alternately with representatives of England, Spain, India, and 
China, each of whom performs a characteristic dance. The incident 
of this scene is the abolition of slavery ; a runaway slave chased 
by a ferocious-looking Arab is rescued from him by La Lumiere, 
whose protection he seeks, and the master ultimately yields to her 
in spite of the protestations of L'Obscurantisme. The scene is 
concluded by dances of a nautch girl and piccaninies, and a 
general ballet producing many striking effects and combinations 
of colour, and the stage management is again conspicuous in the 
grouping and by-play of the crowd during the incidental dance. 

Vanquished at all points above the earth, L'Obscurantisme 
determines to visit its interior, and the ninth scene depicts the 
operations of the workmen at the Italian end of the Mont Cenis 
Tunnel. The chief engineers, like the experimenter in act v.. 
are alternately hopeful and dejected, as the noise of the working 
from the French side is heard or is lost ; but ultimately, 
after an interval of despair, the strains of the " Marseillaise" 
are heard, and the men, working with a will, the junction is soon 
made, and with flaming torches the French engineers and work- 
men troop through the breach and embrace their fellow-labourers. 
The acting of the engineers in this scene is excellent, and although 
there is not a word spoken throughout, the incident is rendered 
most exciting, and indeed affecting. This scene is the last of 
those representing the " march of civilization ;" but a grand 
finale follows, in the shape of a ballet of armies of all nations a 
theme somewhat conventional in such spectacles but the dresses 
arc as tasteful and rich, and the dances are as well arranged, as 


in the preceding ballets. The final group represents Civilization 
triumphant, and L'Obscurantisme lifeless at her feet. 

It has been my good fortune to witness ballets on a magnificent 
scale at the Khedive's Theatre in Cairo, at the French and English 
opera-houses and theatres, and, not least, at the " home of English 
ballet," the Alhambra ; but for interest, combination of colours, 
grace of dancing (of all performers, from the premiere danseuse to 
the youngest child), the rapidity with which the " effects" are 
produced, and perfect drill, I have seen nothing to equal " Excel- 
sior," which I would strongly urge readers of THE THEATRE to 
see, if the opportunity offers. 

The Women of Mumbles Head ! 

[A True Story of a Lifeboat.} 

BRING, novelists, your note-book ! bring, dramatists, your pen ! 
And I'll tell you a simple story of what women do for men. 
It's only a tale of a lifeboat, of the dying and the dead, 
Of a terrible storm and shipwreck that happened off Mumbles Head"! 
Maybe you have travelled in Wales, sir, and know it north and south ; 
Maybe you are friends with the "natives" that dwell at Oystermouth ; 
It happens, no doubt,, that from Bristol you've crossed in a casual way, 
And have sailed your yacht in the summer in the blue of Swansea Bay. 

Well ! it isn't like that in the winter, when the lighthouse stands alone, 

In the teeth of Atlantic breakers that foam on its face of stone ; 

It wasn't like that when the hurricane blew, and the storm-bell tolled, or 

There was news of a wreck, and the lifeboat launch'd, and a desperate cry 

for men. 

When in the world did the coxswain shirk ? a brave old salt was he ! 
Proud to the bone of as four strong lads as ever had tasted sea, 
Welshmen all to the lungs and loins, who, about that coast, 'twas said, 
Had saved some hundred lives a piece at a shilling or so a head ! 

So the father launched the lifeboat, in the teeth of the tempest's roar, 
And he stood like a man at the rudder, with an eye on his boys at the oar. 
Out to the wreck went the father ! out to the wreck went the sons ! 
Leaving the weeping of women, and booming of signal guns, 

160 THE THEATRE. MARCH i, 1883. 

Leaving the mother who loved them, and the girls that the sailors love, 

Going to death for duty, and trusting to God above ! 

Do you murmur a prayer, my brothers, when cosy and safe in bed, 

For men like these, who are ready to die for a wreck off Mumbles Head ? 

It didn't go well with the lifeboat ! 'twas a terrible storm that blew ! 

And it snapped the rope in a second that was flung to the drowning crew ; 

And then the anchor parted 'twas a tussle to keep afloat ! 

But the father stuck to the rudder, and the boys to the brave old boat. 

Then at last on the poor doom'd lifeboat a wave broke, mountains high ! 

" God help us now !" said the father. " It's over, my lads ! Good-bye." 

Half of the crew swam shoreward, half to the sheltered caves, 

But father and sons were fighting death in the foam of the angry waves. 

Up at a lighthouse window two women beheld the storm, 

And saw in the boiling breakers a figure a fighting form, 

It might be a grey-haired father, then the women held their breath, 

It might be a fair-haired brother, who was having a round with death ; 

It might be a lover, a husband, whose kisses were on the lips 

Of the women whose love is the life of men going down to the sea in 

They had seen the launch of the lifeboat, they had seen the worst and 

Then, kissing each other, these women went down from the lighthouse, 

straight to shore. 

There by the rocks on the breakers these sisters, hand in hand, 
Beheld once more that desperate man who struggled to reach the land. 
'Twas only aid he wanted to help him across the wave, 
But what are a couple of women with only a man to save ? 
What are a couple of women ? well more than three craven men 
Who stood by the shore with chattering teeth refusing to stir and then 
Off went the women's shawls, sir : in a second they're torn and rent, 
Then knotting them into a rope of love, straight into the sea they went ! 

" Come back !" cried the lighthouse-keeper, " for God's sake, girls, come 

back !" 

As they caught the waves on their foreheads, resisting the fierce attack. 
"Come back," moaned the grey-haired mother, as she stood by the 

angry sea, 

" If the waves take you, my darlings, there's nobody left to me." 
" Come back !" said the three strong soldiers, who still stood faint and 

" You will drown if you face the breakers ! you will fall if you brave the 

gale !" 

"Come back !" said the girls, "we will not ! go tell it to all the town, 
We'll lose our lives, God willing, before that man shall drown !" 

MARCH i, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL BOX. 161 

" Give one more knot to the shawls, Bess ! give one strong clutch of your 

hand ! 

Just follow me, brave, to the shingle, and we'll bring him safe to land ! 
Wait for the next wave, darling ! only a minute more, 
And I'll have him safe in my arms, dear, and we'll drag him safe to shore." 
Up to the arms in the water, fighting it breast to breast, 
They caught and saved a brother alive ! God bless us, you know the rest 
Well, many a heart beat stronger, and many a tear was shed, 
And many a glass was toss'd right off to " The Women of Mumbles 

Head !" 

February, 1883. 


AFTER a storm comes a calm ; to the feverish excitement of 
the 1882 operatic season will succeed, during that of 1883, 
a period of flaccid lassitude, unless present symptoms of coming 
events should turn out more deceptive than we have any right to 
expect. Last year, after Carl Rosa had withdrawn to the pro- 
vinces, having duly performed his spirited annual feat of losing in 
town what he had gained in the country, we had three Grand 
Operas in full swing, at one and the same time, within half a mile 
of Charing Cross. This year, it seems, there is to be no alterna- 
tive to the Gye-Mapleson coalition with its long dull list of 
hackneyed operas, oppressive superfluity of executant mediocrities, 
and one solitary vocal star, warranted to shine for twenty nights 
only. What is more or, speaking more strictly, less the series 
of " entertainments" in question will commence a month later 
than usual, and close at its customary period of termination, that 
is to say between the iSth and 25th of July. The winter has 
passed away unenlivened, as far as Londoners are concerned, by 
the in many respects admirable performances of the English Opera 
Company ; and I hear that Carl Rosa's spring campaign at Drury 
Lane will barely last five weeks, opening on Easter Monday and 
ending on the 28th of April. In all probability, therefore, 
throughout the three months that constitute the ascent, summit, 
and descent of that mighty Pleasure Mountain, the London season, 

1 62 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

metropolitan votaries of the lyric drama will be absolutely 
dependent upon one theatre for their annual modicum of operatic 
refreshment and recreation. 

Musicians and music-lovers, naturally enough, differ very 
vehemently upon the question, " Is, or is not, the taste for Italian 
Opera on the decline in this country ?" One eminent and erudite 
authority in matters musical says, " As far as the British public is 
concerned, Italian Opera is dead, and even in a condition urgently 
demanding prompt burial." Another of equal renown is of 
opinion that it was never livelier or more hopeful within his 
experience than it has been of late that is, during the last few 
years. The truth, most likely, lies between and about equidis- 
tant from these two extremes. Public favour has, to a certain 
extent, been withdrawn from Italian Opera, chiefly because the 
persons who provide that kind of entertainment have distressed 
their audiences with bad or weak performances of familiar works 
and have annoyed them by producing vicious, ugly, and worthless 
novelties. When an opera-goer has to pay five-and-twenty shillings 
for his stall he can hardly be expected to derive unalloyed enjoy- 
ment from hearing a tenth-rate rendering of music he possibly 
knows by heart, or to waste affection and gratitude upon an 
impresario who persists in assaulting his ears with one new 
operatic atrocity after another. That, in this capital of over four 
million souls, more numerously populated than some Continental 
kingdoms and far richer than any other three cities in Christendom, 
there exists a public in every respect equal to keeping open I 
mean remuneratively to its lessee an opera house, not only for a 
three months' season but all the year round, I am convinced. But 
the institution itself must be judiciously managed, which is equiva- 
lent to saying that its arrangements, with scarcely an exception, 
must be essentially different from those which have obtained at 
Covent Garden since the death of Mr. Frederick Gye. With 
respect to prices, for instance, I do not say that the high prices 
at once unprecedented and unparalleled throughout Europe act 
prohibitively. As long as the management will offer the public a 
fair quid pro quo, vast numbers of wealthy idlers can be found in 
London ready to pay almost any price demanded of them in 
exchange for an evening's really first-class entertainment ; but not 
otherwise. What happens, year after year, at Covent Garden ? 

MARCH i, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL BOX. 163 

Whenever Adelina Patti sings the house is crowded throughout ; 
on other nights it is from half to three-parts empty a melancholy 
spectacle ! In order, therefore, to ensure a full house, Mr. Ernest 
Gye is obliged to pay a prima donna at the rate of two hundred 
guineas per night ; not as much as she can earn elsewhere, truly, 
but enough to take the bloom off the profit derived from her per- 
formances. No Opera House that has not a State subvention to 
fall back upon can afford such salaries to its stars, no matter of 
what magnitude or brilliancy ; and even subventioned houses, like 
the Court theatres of Berlin and Vienna, although drawing 
.30,000 a year apiece from the respective privy purses of the 
German and Austrian Emperors, decline as a rule to engage even 
the first of living vocalists at a rate of remuneration which cannot 
but involve a considerable dead-loss to the management. When 
Madame Patti was starring at Berlin in 1878 she did not sing at 
the Royal Opera House, but at Kroll's, where a bold speculator 
(whose bankruptcy and self-expatriation to America followed hard 
at heel upon his investment in the Diva) paid her 400 a night, 
cash down before each performance more money, in fact, than 
the Hofopernhaus holds when " total ausverkauft zu hohen 
Preisen," that is, every place taken at top prices. 

Even with the assistance of a handsome State subvention 
operatic managements cannot do much more than pay their way ; 
and the failure of so enterprising and popular an impresario as 
Col. Mapleson even to achieve (in this country, at least) that 
primary object of every commercial undertaking, goes far to prove 
that, without such assistance, an Italian opera house cannot be 
profitably kept open in London for three months of the year. 
That hard experience has taught Messrs. Mapleson and Gye to 
recognize the truth of this proposition is sufficiently manifested by 
the circumstance that their operatic headquarters are now 
"located" in America instead of in England. It would, indeed, 
seem that they have resolved to keep one London opera house 
open during the season, rather with a view to maintaining the 
" European prestige" of their company in the States than in the 
hope of making any money on this side of the Atlantic. In an 
instructive paper on this subject contributed by Mr. Sutherland 
Edwards to your musical contemporary, the Lute, that eminent 

1 64 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

writer drily and pointedly observes that in having the money of 
confiding shareholders to deal with, the directors of the Royal Italian 
Opera Company (Limited) must not be blamed for acting accord- 
ing to their lights and preferring a short season to a long one. By 
pushing their cautious policy a few steps further, they would 
arrive at the supreme wisdom of having no season at all. The 
fates forfend that they should become sagacious to that degree ! 
A London season utterly devoid of Italian opera would be as 
lame and melancholy as a three-legged dog. Berlin and Vienna, 
with a million of inhabitants apiece, keep their respective opera 
houses going all the year round, with the exception of about five 
weeks in the sultriest summertide. I cannot believe that London, 
with her four millions, is incapable of supporting one institution 
of this kind throughout a period of twelve weeks, at her most 
crowded and fashionable time of year. 

Carl Rosa's brief season at Drury Lane promises to teem with 
incident especially interesting to British audiences. Resolved to 
prove the title of his enterprise exact in the spirit as well as the 
letter, Herr Rosa has announced that, in the matter of operatic 
novelties, he intends to confine himself strictly this year to works 
by English composers. He promises to introduce us to Mr. 
Mackenzie's " Colomba," the libretto of which owns that learned 
German critic and litterateur, Dr. Franz Hiiffer, for its author ; to 
the " Esmeralda" of Mr. Goring Thomas, and the " Savonarola" 
of Mr. Villiers Stanford. The production of at least one of these 
operas may be confidently anticipated between Easter Monday 
and Rogation Sunday, and we shall doubtless, in the fulness of 
time, enjoy opportunities of listening to all three, probably in the 
order above indicated, though I could wish that, in this case, the 
" first might be last, and the last first." Carl Rosa has still two 
splendid shafts left in his quiver of primc-donne ; but the rosy 
God, blind Cupid, and Hymen with his scent-scattering torch, 
have been busy among the " leading ladies" of his excellent com- 
pany ; and I have even heard it whispered that Lucina is " on 
hand" in connection with " expectations" that cannot but exercise 
an extremely depressing effect upon his managerial spirits. Where 
is the most sympathetic of Mignons where the sparkling Filina 
(front name, Georgina) who was wont last year to electrify 
crowded audiences by the brilliancy and dan of her fioriturc ? 

MARCH i, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL BOX. 165 

Their place in the English Opera Company knows them no more ; 
foregoing artistic triumphs they have lapsed into the natural 
vocation of their sex, which is (if lago may be believed) " to 
suckle fools and chronicle small beer." Mesdames Alvina 
Valleria and Marie Roze are, however, a host in themselves ; and 
these gifted songstresses, happily for Rosa as well as for his 
clientele, have, " in spite of all temptations on the part of foreign 
nations/' remained true to the E. O. C. flag. 

I have been told that in this and other countries it is by no 
means unusual for composers to regard music-publishers as hard- 
hearted, closefisted, unappreciative beings, deaf to the appeals of 
unknown genius, devoid of sympathy with truly good and great 
music, witting (not Witney) wet blankets upon the ardent aspira- 
tions of persons directly prompted by Apollo to contribute to the 
happiness of musical mankind. It has even, at times, been my 
painful lot to listen to a good deal of " choice Italian" and " select 
Spanish," elicited from song and sonata manufacturers of my 
acquaintance by the unconquerable reluctance of music-pub- 
lishers to purchase their compositions at any price, or even to 
bring them out without paying for them. According to my 
informants of the " rejected" category, Moloch, contrasted with 
the average music-publisher, was a genial, unselfish, and liberal 
being. I have heard unpopular authors hint as much about the 
magnates of Paternoster Row ; but that is not to the purpose. 
A recent experience, or rather peine forte et dure, of mine, in the 
nature of wading through two formidable piles of new music with 
a view to the discovery of something at once original and pleasing 
for voice or ringers, leads me to believe that as far as their 
lack of mansuetude towards musical incapacity and unwillingness 
to produce utterly worthless rubbish are concerned music-pub- 
lishers are the most basely-maligned of men. Of some two 
hundred songs, for instance, that have been offered by them to 
the British public within the past six months, I only found three 
that were possessed of any legitimate claims to the admiration of 
the few and the favour of the many. The majority did not rise 
above a dull dead-level of mediocrity ; many were manifest 
pilferings, of the patchwork sort, from old familiar strains ; many 
more, veritable vehicles of sound-torment to the discriminating 
music-lover. Were the publishers of such stuff to be judged by 

1 66 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, i8g 3 . 

the compositions they give to the world, they would be set down 
as benevolent spendthrifts, proclivious to the lavishing of untold 
gold upon feeble fabricators of " mo^eaux de salon" and rickety 
song-writers. I have reason, however, to believe that they are 
far otherwise ; but they wrong themselves, as well as the public, 
by abetting the production of so many utterly worthless works. 

Fortunately there are exceptions to the rule of incapacity 
characterizing the recent musical publications above alluded to. 
Amongst the songs brought out by Messrs. Patey and Willis, for 
instance, is one " When I meet you," by Mr. M. Watson of 
considerable merit, tuneful and sympathetic, if not strikingly 
original. " My heart and I," one of Signer Luigi Caracciolo's 
latest lyrics (Ricordi), will probably achieve popularity, as the 
melody i? a taking one. Few people listen to or take much 
account of the words that modern composers set to music ; and it 
is indeed lucky for the song in question that its claims to atten- 
tion do not repose exclusively upon its literary text, which is 
curiously inane where not altogether meaningless. The 
" Edizioni Ricordi" abound in magnificently illustrated covers, 
some of which as in the case of Paolo Tosti's delightfully naive 
cansonetta for two voices, hight " Napoli" are instinct with con- 
siderable artistic feeling for both form and colour. A chef cTaeuvre 
of pictorial embellishment, as applied to enhancing the attractions 
of a recitcil of songs, duets, &c., for children, is conspicuous 
amongst Signer Ricordi's publications under the title of " Les 
Saisons Enfantines" a work for each month in the year, frontis- 
pieced by twelve vigorous and spirited drawings from the pen of 
Mr. Alfred Edel, a quaint feature in which admirable designs is a 
miniature Celsius and Reaumur thermometer, registering on each 
title-page what ought to be the mean temperature of the par- 
ticular month musically dealt with. The tunes, pretty enough 
and easy to learn, are by M. Albert Renaud ; the words, some of 
them charming, by M. Georges Mengeot. Another tastefully 
illustrated mor^eau is a very clever and " fetching" arrangement 
of the best-known " London Chimes" (Robert Cocks and Co.) as 
a set of waltzes, most unmistakably " dancing" music. High up 
in the air, far above London town a moonlit panorama of 
which occupies the lower part of the cover are three times three 
lithe imps in green, madly ringing a peal of five huge bells, 

MARCH i, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL BOX. 167 

obviously much to their own diversion. The musical part of 
" London Chimes/' which ought to be heard in every public and 
private ball-room, is by Herr Rudolf Hertzen. 

I am glad to see that the compositions of my gifted friend, 
Moritz Moszkowski, are effecting a firm lodgment in the favour of 
my musical country folk. Messrs. Augener & Co. have published 
several of his later works in a cheap and convenient form, and by so 
doing have deserved the gratitude of all good P. F. amateurs in this 
country. Of those which have lately come under my cognizance 
I wish to call attention more particularly to a suite of characteristic 
duets called "From Foreign Parts" ("Aus aller Herren Laender"), 
and consisting of six taking melodies, ingeniously harmonized, but 
not so intricately as to be hopelessly beyond the moyetis of fair 
drawing-room pianists. On the other hand, a tarantella by the 
same author (Opus 27, No. 2) is unnecessarily puzzling to the eye 
and laborious to the fingers. Of his minuet in G (Opus 17, 
No. 2) I cannot conscientiously say that it is up to his usual 
mark; and the "Album Espagnol," for four hands (Opus 21), 
goes far to prove, from internal evidence, that its talented com- 
poser has not sojourned for any great length of time in the 
Iberian Peninsula. For all that, it teems with charming music. 
By the way, Moszkowski's new symphony (his third), "Joan of 
Arc," was played on the 3rd of February at the Concerthaus, 
Berlin, by Kapellmeister Bilse's newly-constituted orchestra, and 
achieved an unequivocal success. We shall doubtless ere long 
hear it at the Crystal Palace ; Richter is more likely, I understand, 
to produce Fnglish than German novelties during his next cyklus 
of orchestral concerts. 

There is some good homely fun and hearty laughter to be got 
out of a " descriptive fantasia for pianoforte," composed by Mr. W. 
Spark, and published by Mr. E. Ashdown, of Hanover Square, 
under the title of " The Battle of Tel-el-Kebir." In the prefatorial 
remarks attached to this unconsciously humorous work, we are 
informed that "never did a body of 14,000 men get under arms 
more quietly . . . almost noiselessly the dark columns moved off ;" 
but Mr. Spark's " March to Battle" conveys a very different impres- 
sion of their advance. It is perhaps needless to observe that " The 
Campbells are coming" appropriately introduces some very terrible 

1 68 THE THEATRE. C MARCH i, 1883. 

battle music, so ferociously chromatic that a little of it goes a 
long way to a timidly disposed person. What makes me fancy 
that Mr. Spark cannot know Egypt well, or be familiar with the 
habits of a British army in the field, is the episode immediately 
succeeding the truculent tone-picture of the actual melee. In all 
Pharaoh land, to the best of my belief I speak as one who has 
been there and still would go there exists not one full peal of 
church bells ; certainly not in any part of the desert or open 
country, such as that surrounding Tel-el-Kebir. The merry 
chimes with which Mr. Spark winds up his musical fray are there- 
fore scarcely in their proper place, the listener being clearly given 
to understand that they were rung on Afric's burning sands imme- 
diately after the action. Not less comic is Mr. Spark's misappre- 
hension of what took place as soon as the Egyptian positions had 
been carried, set forth as follows in his explanatory preface, "Soon 
Victory crowned the valour of the British troops, and the familiar 
strains of ' See the Conquering Hero comes' and ' God save the 
Queen' rose above the din of battle." I was not fortunate enough 
to be present at the action ; but several of my intimate personal 
friends were, and upon their authority I venture to assure Mr. 
Spark that the " musical honours" in question did not come off 
upon that occasion. That they should do so in his "descriptive 
fantasia" intended by him, doubtless, to serve uncounted future 
generations of Englishmen as an eternal sound-chronicle of the 
battle that concluded the Egypt campaign of 1882 is an 
untoward error that I hope he will deplore, if ever it be brought 
home to him. The price of this, in every respect, remarkable 
work marked four shillings on its cover irresistibly recalled to 
my memory the sagacious, if a thought cynical, axiom upon which 
the " unfortunate nobleman" would appear to have modelled his life- 
conduct for some years before his painful failure to convince twelve 
of his fellow-countrymen that he really was the " Bart, of B. K." 
he so persistently claimed to be. It began, " Some people has 
plenty money and no brains." I need not complete the quotation. 



' I don't pretend to be a particularly good sort of fellow nor a 
particularly bad sort of fellow.' 


MARCH i, 1883.] MR. BANCROFT. 169 

Mr. Bancroft. 

nr^HE life of every public man is liable to misrepresentation: the 
actor's life especially so. Concerning few actors have such wild 
theories been propounded and believed in as in the case of Mr. 
Bancroft, whose picture will be found in our magazine for the present 
month. For the sole and simple reason that Mr. Bancroft made his 
first London success in the plays of Mr. T. W. Robertson, and in the 
characters of "Heavy Swells" it was firmly and implicitly believed, 
and it is believed to this day, that the young actor had just left 
some cavalry regiment and come upon the stage as so many 
military amateurs have done, notably Mr. Charles Collette, who 
graduated at the same pleasant little theatrical college now alas, 
no more in the Tottenham Court Road. Mr. Bancroft, in spite 
of repeated assertions to the contrary, was never in the army ; but 
was a hard-working actor in the country long before he was dis- 
covered, as Mr. Hare was discovered, by Mr. Robertson, Mr. 
Byron, and the then Miss Marie Wilton, and brought up to London 
to distinguish himself in "Society," and many another Robertsonian 
play. Mr. Bancroft is only a little over forty years of age, having 
been born on May 14, 1841, a lucky Friday. He made his 
first appearance on the stage at the Theatre Royal, Birmingham, 
twenty years afterwards, in January, 1861, under the present 
lessee, Mr. Mercer Simpson, and for five years played every possible 
line of business in the country, including innumerable legitimate 
parts. It will astonish many who insist that the creator of Captain 
Hawtree is essentially a modern actor, born and bred in a modern 
school, to find that he has appeared as Icilius, De Mauprat, 
Wellbourn, Mercutio, Leonardo Gonzago, the Ghost in "Hamlet," 
and Laertes. He has acted at the Theatre Royal, Dublin, and the 
provincial theatres with such stars as G. V. Brooke for whose 
acting Mr. Bancroft has a profound admiration Charles Kean, 
and Samuel Phelps. 

This experience has not been wasted on an actor who has been 
forced by circumstances rather than inclination to restrict his 
energies to the plays that were conspicuously in fashion under the 
famous management, in which he was assisted to success by his 
wife the very best comedian of her time, and an artist to the tips 
of her finger-nails. It must never be forgotten, however, that 
whenever chance offered itself, and Mr. Bancroft availed himself 

170 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

of it, he came to the front as an actor of individuality, character, and 
with a command over a very admirable pathetic stop. If we recall 
his Sir George Ormond in " Peril," his Triplet in " Masks and 
Faces," his acting in "The Vicarage," his Count Orloff in "Diplo- 
macy," and his husband in " Odette," it will be seen at once that 
his range is far wider than that of " haw-haw captains" and fault- 
lessly dressed cavalry officers in modern society plays. He is, in fact, 
an admirable and painstaking actor, and would be of the greatest 
value in any company. But his merits do not end here. Half 
the success of the innumerable plays produced at the Prince 
of Wales' Theatre, and at the Haymarket, has been due to the 
unceasing energy arid untiring industry of the manager, who for 
many years has taken upon himself the important duties of stage- 
manager as well. Mr. Bancroft's whole heart and soul are in his 
work. He lives and dreams in it. His memory is marvellous, 
and his patience most commendable. He forgets nothing, and 
sets an excellent example to the younger actors who have had the 
good luck to be associated with him. He is a living protest against 
the slipshod method in which plays used to be produced when he 
came upon the stage, and it is quite certain that the modern stage, 
in all its accuracy of detail, finish, and completeness, has much to 
be thankful to Mr. Bancroft for his unswerving devotion to his art. 
When a play is produced at the Haymarket it is no child's play, 
but a very serious business. The actors may know nothing of 
the scheme, and their ideas may be yet dormant, but already Mr. 
Bancroft has sketched out the whole plan of the play in his head, 
has formulated every act and scene at home, so that when the 
rehearsals begin, no one is wholly abroad, or at sixes and sevens. 
It is the greatest mistake to suppose that stage management 
comes of itself. It is the result of enormous application, and 
though it is a disagreeable phrase, there is no more " con- 
scientious" actor in every respect than Mr. Bancroft. His career 
has, at any rate, proved one thing that theatrical success may 
be made a certainty if two essential gifts are possessed sound 
judgment and indomitable industry. Mr. Bancroft, throughout 
his career, has never made a mistake. Yes, he has made one. 
He withdrew the " Merchant of Venice" at the Prince of Wales' 
just when an admirable production had successfully weathered 
a critical storm. No actor on the stage has been immediately 
connected with more successful productions. This is something 
to boast of. 


A Fair Enthusiast. 


ITALIANS have generally been credited with a strong aversion 
to Richard Wagner, the great luminary of the musical world, 
so recently and suddenly eclipsed. Their musical traditions are 
exactly the reverse of the Wagnerian theories ; and very bitter 
and sarcastic was the dead creator of the " Niebelungen Ring" 
upon the " little lays" composed by such small fry as Bellini, 
Rossini, Donizetti, and others. Yet, in spite of rancour on both 
sides, and many arguments, heated and long, Italian musicians 
are more strongly imbued with the spirit of Wagner's writings 
than they care to own even to themselves. 

Verdi and Boito have both been touched by Wagner's magic 
wand, and are still content to be under his influence ; while the 
profound sensation of regret for the disappearance of one of the 
most remarkable figures in the annals of musical history is widely 
felt all over Italy. The Death-Angel has now laid a silencing 
hand on the changeful chords of Wagner's life, and we are slowly 
awakening to the fact that there was more greatness in the man 
than we were at first aware of. Some time before his death, I 
was staying near Florence with a lady, " beautiful exceedingly," 
whose eyes are full of dreams and light, and upon whose fair brow 
rests the sunshine of habitual serenity and happiness. She is a 
musician a woman-composer with a genius which promises to 
fulfil great and wonderful things, and who, if the Fates are good 
to her, may make her name a glory to Italy some day. She is 
a devoted disciple of Wagner, and has most quiet and confident 
answers for all those who venture to argue with her against her 
idol. Her study, or rather her music-room, is a bewildering place, 
full of suggestions of art, beauty, and romance. At its furthest 
end stands a great organ, whose glittering golden tubes pour 
forth thrilling sounds of passionate melody whenever my Fair 
Enthusiast lets her white hands wander over the keys. She has 
two other instruments a grand piano and a tender-toned mando- 
line. Her bookshelves contain volumes of poems and musical 
works of all kinds. On her table are a few writing materials, 
and when I visited her, I noticed the score of ''Lohengrin" lying near 

N 2 

1 72 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

her desk, in close companionship with a quaint Etruscan vase filled 
full with white and blue anemones. My Fair Enthusiast, herself a 
picture, clad in a graceful robe of some soft, white, woolly material, 
talked much and earnestly with me concerning Wagner, whose 
portrait, crowned with laurel, looked sternly down upon us from 
the walls a fine painting of Beethoven being placed opposite. 

" He is the pioneer of the future," said my friend simply ; " he 
is the second link of the chain, after Beethoven. You must 
remember that when Beethoven lived, the critics writing of him 
said, ' The hideousness of his compositions is only equalled by the 
absurdity of his attempts !' Yet what a position Beethoven 
occupies now !'' 

"But/' I replied, "your favourite Wagner objects to Beethoven." 

" That is a mistake. Pie has founded his own style entirely 
upon Beethoven. Till Beethoven came, music was like a little 
footpath across the fields of art. Beethoven made it a broad 
avenue, Wagner has widened the road still more, and others will 
continue the work after him." 

I looked at the girl-student thoughtfully. Her face was tinted 
with a warm flush, and her eyes glowed with a soft fire as she 

" Those who consider that melody is the only and the chief 

thing in music are wrong. That idea narrows the mind and 

limits the judgment to one form, one mode of expression. Melody 

there must be in music, but harmony must also be there like a robe 

to clothe it. It may be a simple robe, or a costly one embroidered 

with gold and gems, but it must be clothing of some kind. See/'' 

and she drew her mandoline towards her/and played a ravishing 

little Sicilian air. " That is melody. It stirs your feelings you 

are touched, but not very deeply. The emotion is of a few 

moments' duration only. But clothe that very melody in a robe 

of harmonies and you shall never be able to forget it. Wagner is 

no melodist ? Oh, yes, he is, and a great and pure one. He is rich 

to excess in melody, but he will not give his thoughts to you in 

the nude. He robes them, crowns them, places in their hands 

jewelled sceptres, that they may take their seats upon thrones and 

rule the world, as assuredly they will. A few bars only constitute 

the theme of Beethoven's ' Ninth Symphony/ ' that colossal 

Sphinx/ as Louis Ehlert says, at whose feet we sit like pigmies, 

tapping with blind fingers on its pedestal and affecting to unriddle 

its enigma !" 


" Then/' said I, " you are not an admirer of Italian art in 
music ? You prefer the Germans ?" 

She smiled thoughtfully. 

" My fair Italia !" she said, " she has such a trick of improvisa- 
tion ! She must sing, and what she sings is always melody, and 
lovely melody, too. But it is like the song of a child playing in a 
garden that is the music of my Italy. One loves it yes but 
it does not satisfy the soul. German music is like the prayer of 
nations sung in chorus by millions of voices poured from millions 
of grateful and passionate hearts. The song of a child is sweet, 
but the chanted prayer of a world is greater." 

I was silent for a while, not knowing how to answer this 
musing student with the clustering fair hair and poetic eyes ; but 
at last I ventured to observe : 

" I am sure you do not think that true greatness can ever 
be allied with conceit. Yet you must allow that Richard Wagner 
is painfully conceited." 

" I cannot allow anything of the kind," she replied, with a sweet 
smile. " He knows his own power certainly ; all genius must 
realize to itself the force that is in it in order to thoroughly 
accomplish its aims. You are a great worshipper of Beethoven, 
and he wrote of himself : ' I am not fearful concerning my music. 
No evil fate can befall it ; and he to whom it is intelligible must 
"be free from all the paltriness that others drag about with them.' 
Some people would call that conceit. I call it self-knowledge. 
What does the American philosopher, Emerson, say : ' Trust 
thyself ! Every heart vibrates to that iron string !' " 

I rose to take my leave. 

" So then," I said, tenderly holding the small soft hands of my 
fair musical enthusiast for a few minutes, u you, though an Italian, 
still persist in following Wagner's footsteps ? You, with a voice 
like an angel, and a touch on the piano as warm and bright as 
fire ; you still love the mysticism and wildness of the interminable 
musical myths your great master has woven, such as the ' Niebe- 
lungen Ring.' In short, you thoroughly believe in Wagner ?" 

" I do !" she answered, with a glad look in her lovely eyes, 
" and so will the whole world one day." 

She gave me a cluster of violets and anemones, and I took my 
farewell of her. One short week after our conversation Richard 
Wagner expired in the arms of his wife at the Palazzo Vendremin, 
and the world's belief in him has already begun. 

174 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

Some Amateur Performances. 

THERE is no question about the benefit which the stage derives 
indirectly from the performance of amateurs. Their representations 
increase the interest for the stage proper, and the influence of the drama is 
widely spread by the help of the amateurs. Each club has its circle of 
friends and admirers, and each little coterie helps to bring the professional 
stage into prominence. Amateurs are attracted to the theatres to see the 
plays which they intend producing on their minor stage, and to observe the 
best qualities in the acting of the players. The stage is recruited from the 
ranks of the amateurs, and it is on record that many once well-known actors 
first won their spurs as a member of some amateur theatrical club. It, 
therefore, will not be out of place to briefly notice in this magazine some of 
the recent amateur performances. For the more important of them we must 
go back to December 8 and 9, when the Oxford Philothespian Dramatic 
Society gave representations of Lord Lytton's " Money" and the farce of 
"Taming a Tiger." This was the most ambitious attempt which this 
society has yet made before an Oxford public. The choice of " Money" 
was probably dictated by the desire to get as few lady-characters in the 
piece as possible. For in reality there is nothing more ridiculous and 
hideous than to see young men essaying the parts of presumably beautiful 
girls, and their stately and match-making mothers. The three ladies in 
" Money" were represented by Messrs. Lushington, Shaw, and Glyn 5 and 
though Mr. Lushington struggled hard to give vivacity and aplomb to the 
part of Lady Franklin, the attempt could not, by the nature of the case, 
be wholly successful. Awkward movements of the arms, too long a stride 
in walking the stage, and too low tones of the voice; these are the points 
where every actor in petticoats reveals his identity, and the Clara Douglas 
and Georgina Vesey of the play exhibited most of these defects to the fulL 
At the same time it must in justice be said, that a society which is not 
allowed to act with professional ladies cannot well help itself in this 
matter, and Lady Franklin, at all events, appeared to give pleasure to the 
audience. Among the male characters there can be no question that 
Mr. Bourchier scored a decided success with his Sir John Vesey. His 
action was uniformly easy and natural, his facial play svas excellent, and 
the conception of the character well sustained from beginning to end. 
Mr. Pryce Hamer delivered the moral platitudes of Alfred Evelyn with 
much unction, and improved very much in ease of posture and action as 
the play proceeded ; but the monotony of his voice rendered his moral- 
izings more difficult to bear than even their dreary nature warranted. It 
is not Mr. Hamer's fault that Alfred Evelyn is such a prig, but by greater 
flexibility of tone he might have sometimes prevented him from becoming 
a pedant. Mr. Thomas, as Stout, was much too fussy and fantastical, and 
the fidgetiness of the hands and legs became after a time almost irritating ; 
but he delivered the sentences allotted to him with a genuine appreciation 
of their funniness. Mr. Gurney made a great deal out of the character 


of Graves, and acted his part admirably. Lord Glossmore and Sir 
Frederick Blount were both efficiently represented; and more than a 
word of praise must be given to Mr. Crosskey as Dudley Smooth, whose 
expression, by-play, and costume left nothing to be desired. The play had 
been so thoroughly rehearsed that it could not fail to go with smoothness 
and ease. Even the Club scene, so difficult a one for amateurs, went 
without a single hitch, and the old Club-member never failed to draw 
laughter by his repeated calls for the snuff-box. 

At the Town Hall, Kensington, on the i4th of December, the South Ken- 
sington Dramatic Society opened their fourth season to a crowded house, 
the performance being given in aid of the funds of the Earl's Court 
Conservative Club. The first piece presented was Mr. W. S. Gilbert's 
comedy, " Pygmalion and Galatea." The acting in this, all through, was 
of the first order, the lines being spoken with confidence and decision, 
which gave evidence of careful study and rehearsal, the ladies, especially, 
coming in for no small share of the general applause. Miss Grace Murray, 
as Cynisca, was excellent, taking advantage of all the strong points and 
situations connected with the part. The same may be said of Mrs. T. C. 
Collett as Galatea, who, aided by a remarkably sweet and clear voice, gave 
her lines with great effect. Mrs. Lennox Browne looked a very proper 
Daphne, showing off the shrewish disposition of the matron with particular 
point. Miss Stannard's Myrina was also a creditable effort. Of the 
gentlemen, Mr. W. L. Hallward, as Pygmalion, took the lead, possessing 
a good presence, and delivering the declamatory lines incident to the 
part with much force and almost faultless elocution. Mr. W. J. Fletcher, 
as Lucippe, looked and acted as a soldier should ; while Mr. F. 
Arden caught the idea of the pompous, henpecked husband exactly. 
Messrs. F. Upton and W. E. Lock filled the remaining parts, as slaves of 
Crysos and Pygmalion respectively. The one drawback was the wretched 
time kept ; and this operated seriously against the success of the conclud- 
ing portion of the programme, which was Michael Balfe's "Sleeping 
Queen," for, in spite of splendid voices, it had not a chance, and it 
' must have been most disheartening to the artists, as more than half the 
audience left during its performance. Mrs. Arthur Levy, as Queen of 
Leon, used her good voice to advantage, but her principal song, "As 
years go past," written expressly for her by F. H. Cowen, was much in- 
terrupted by the retiring assembly. Miss Browne as Donna Agnes, Mr. 
Bernard Lane as Don Phillipe d'Aguilar, and Mr. W. J. Fletcher as the 
Regent, well sustained both the vocal and dramatic necessities of their 
respective parts. The programme, though ambitious, was well carried 
out, the management being generally very good, and but for the drawback 
mentioned, the entertainment would have been a great success. The 
Amateur Orchestral Society provided the band, who deserve a word of 
praise for their excellent performance of a well-selected programme. 

The S.K.D.S. gave two evening performances, in the first week in 
January, at St. Matthias's Schools, Warwick Road, Earl's Court, when 
" Pygmalion and Galatea" was repeated. The cast was exactly as given 
at the Town Hall, and I am pleased to be able to say that the time kept 

1 76 THE THEA TRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

was greatly improved upon, while the different ladies and gentlemen taking 
part fully sustained and emphasized the success of their previous perform- 
ance. I am informed that Miss Grace Murray, who took the part of 
Cynisca with such cleverness, played for the first time in her life on the 
1 4th of December, the entertainment before noticed. In the later per- 
formances a farce, in which Messrs. S. P. Peatt, W. E. Loch, and T. Clay 
took part, preceded the comedy. 

On December 18 a performance was given at the Theatre Royal, 
Hull, thanks to the generosity of Mr. Wilson Barrett, who granted the free 
use of the theatre in aid of the local Infirmary Fund, which was benefited 
thereby to the extent of ,113 75. The entertainment commenced with 
the farce " Number One Round the Corner," which was capitally played 
by Messrs. Gresham and B. Jacobs, and followed by Boucicault's 
" London Assurance." A feature of this performance was the reappear- 
ance on the stage of Mrs. W. H. Wallsted, formerly known as Miss Elise 
Maisey. This young lady was well known in the provinces as a member of 
Mr. Wilson Barrett's companies, and she retired from the stage some little 
time ago upon her marriage with Mr. Wallsted, an eminent civil engineer 
of Hull. The return to the boards for this occasion was marked by a 
hearty greeting, and she acted Lady Gay Spanker with much vivacity. Sir 
Harcourt Courtly and Grace Harkaway were played with considerable 
success by Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Cuthbert respectively. The remaining 
parts were taken by various local amateurs, who, it must be confessed, 
failed to make a very favourable impression. 

The Romany Amateur Dramatic Club commenced their thirteenth season 
at St. George's Hall, on the iQth of December, on which occasion Messrs. 
Palgrave Simpson and Herman Merivale's "Alone," and Mr. W. S. Gilbert's 
eccentricity, " The Wedding March," were successfully represented. In the 
drama, Mr. J. Balfour took the part of Colonel Challice, adapting himself 
to the character exactly, assisting a good make-up with correct action and 
voice. Mr. W. Richards, as the scheming Stratton Strawless, proved that 
the character was also in good hands. Mr. W. Conyers-D'Arcy, as Dr. 
Micklethwaite, acted and spoke with effect, but his presence and make-up 
didjnot give one the idea of a medical man. Messrs. A. J. Emberson and 
J. N. Bolster, as Bertie Cameron and the Servant respectively, filled the 
remaining male parts. Miss Annie Woodzell made a great deal of the cha- 
racter of Maud Trevor, rendering her lines with pathos, grace, and finish. 
Mrs. Conyers-D'Arcy assumed the character of the charming widow, Mrs. 
Thornton, being particularly good in her exchange of sarcastic compliments 
with the doctor. The piece went very smoothly, and the club undoubt- 
edly scored a success. Gilbert's whimsical " arrangement," which followed, 
went right merrily, the fun being well sustained. Mr. C. H. Allen, as 
Woodpecker Tapping, delivered his lines with surprising volubility, and 
Mr. C. W. A. Trollope created much amusement by his impersonation of 
Uncle Bopaddy, a deaf gentleman. In the rest of the long cast the follow- 
ing ladies and gentlemen appeared : Misses A. Woodzell, C. V. Borra- 
daile, Louise Leroy, and Ivan Bristow; Messrs. J. H. Savile, VV. F. Willis, 
F. J. Synge, C. S. Arkcoll, H. Brett, H. Gore-Browne, and P. M. W. 


Henry. All exerted themselves with vigour to keep the fun alive, and 
their efforts were rewarded with hearty applause and peals of laughter. 
The dresses were supplied by Messrs. Nathan. The musical arrange- 
ments, under Mr. Norfolk Megone, left nothing to be desired in that 
direction. It was announced that the Dental Hospital of London would 
benefit to the extent of ^"100 by the performance. 

The Bristol Dramatic Society, who have for their president Mr. Henry 
Irving, gave a performance at Mr. Melville's theatre at Bristol on Wednes- 
day evening, December 20. A large and fashionable audience assembled 
and showed by their frequent plaudits how heartily the efforts of the 
amateurs were enjoyed. The club has existed in Bristol but a few years, 
but during its short life it has commanded the respect and praise of most 
local playgoers as well as others who are not ardent lovers of the drama. 
We think we are correct in saying the Bristol Dramatic Society is the only 
amateur dramatic club in the city, for the " Histrionic," from whom they 
sprang into existence, has, we believe, long been extinct. The appeals of 
the amateurs are invariably for charity, and this in itself is sufficient to cause 
the elite of the city to give them their patronage and presence. The 
recent performance was on behalf of the Bristol Royal Infirmary and the 
General Hospital. The pieces selected were " Heroes," Conway Edwardes' 
original comedy, and the always amusing farce called "The Area Belle;" 
both of which were creditably rendered. The following should be men- 
tioned : Miss Houliston who played Lilian Herries in " Heroes," Miss 
Nellie Lawrence, Mary Mason, Miss Sally Booth, and Miss Herries. 
Thanks to the clever and lively performance of Miss Houliston, the second 
act went very well. We should not omit to mention an address by Mr. 
Ross McKenzie, which was neatly composed. It was delivered by the 
author and was well-received. 

A performance of " Richelieu," by the Hampstead Amateur Dramatic 
Society, was given at St. George's Hall, on Friday evening, December 20, 
and was notable for the exceptionally capable assumption by Mr. Mark 
Keogh, the general manager of the club, of the Cardinal. His rendering 
of the part was scholarly, subtle, and highly promising. He was well 
supported by Messrs. A. Rowney, L. L. Preston, W. F. Parkhurst, W. T. 
Pugh, W. Robertson, H. Goodall, J. Crooke, L. Kelly, L. Harley, M. 
Spyer, &c. c. Miss Stella Brereton as Julie, and Miss Norwood as 
Marion de Lorme, gave effective assistance in their respective parts. 

The fourth private performance of the Comedy Club was given at the 
Brixton Hall, Acre Lane, S.W., on the December 21, when T. J. Wil- 
liams's farce, " My Turn Next," and Messrs. J. Palgrave Simpson and 
H. C. Merivale's comedy drama, "Alone," were produced. The farce 
went off very well, Mr. O. P. Wynge, as Taraxacum Twitters, provoking 
much laughter by his rendering of the funny speeches and antics of the 
frightened apothecary. Mr. C. W. Melbourne was a good Tim Bolas, 
Mr. A. Davis somewhat too stiff and ill at ease in the part of Tom Trap ; 
Mr. W. Stigaud appeared in the minor part of Farmer Wheatear, Mrs. E. 
Renton as Mrs. Twitters, Miss L. Wood as Cicely, and Miss Leslie as 
were all very fair, the latter especially distinguishing herself as the 

178 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

pert maid-of-all-work. The drama, which tested the powers of the members 
more severely, did not go quite so successfully, the principal part (Colonel 
Challice) being taken by Mr. Claude Meller, who assumed a voice and 
general appearance much too young for the character. Mr. R. E. Montague 
was a cool and collected Stratton Stravvless, Mr. W. H. Revell a passable 
Bertie Cameron, and Mr. A. Meller a good Dr. Micklethwaite. The ladies 
were, Miss Edith Ellis as Maud Trevor, and Miss Kate Osborne as Mrs. 
Thornton. The former gave a pathetic representation of the part, and 
Miss Osborne proved herself adequate as the smart and piquant widow. 

Mr. Percy F. Marshall, assisted by a company principally composed of 
amateurs, is giving a series of performances of old comedies and standard 
plays at the Ladbroke Hall, Notting Hill. The second of these represen- 
tations was given on Friday evening, January 5, when the " The Rivals" 
was presented. Mr. John Denby assumed the part of Sir Anthony Absolute 
most efficiently. Mr. Percy F. Marshall successfully mastered the part of 
Captain Absolute, acting all through with spirit and showing much ability ; 
Mr. Conyers F. Norton, as Bob Acres, caught the humour of the character ; 
Mr. Power, with a very pronounced Hibernian air and accent, was a suffi- 
ciently cool and bloodthirsty Sir Lucius O'Trigger ; Messrs. H. S. Ram. 
J. Melton, and E. George filled the minor parts of Fag, David, and the 
Coachman in a very ordinary manner. Of the ladies not much can be 
said. Mrs. Lennox Browne would have been a very fair Mrs. Malaprop had 
she put a little more expression into her speeches ; Miss Fortescue's Lydia 
Languish was a rather clever performance; and Misses Laura and Kate 
Graves were pretty good in the parts of Julia and Lucy respectively. 
There is no doubt that the piece suffered a little at the hands of the ladies ; 
although their lines were given without hesitation, they lacked point and 
emphasis. It shows no little temerity on the part of any amateur company 
to attempt such a comedy as " The Rivals," more especially at a time 
when that very play is being performed by a first-class company in 
London, people cannot help making comparisons, and, of course, it is 
generally at the expense of the non-professional artistes. However, there 
was a good deal of merit in the performance, ambitious as it was, several 
members of the company showing undoubted ability. The stage manage- 
ment was very good. 

Some interesting performances were given by the Lustleigh Barn Owls, at 
Newton Abbot, on January 8, 9 and 10. When amateurs attempt such a 
representation as that of " The Merchant of Venice," they appreciate much 
more keenly the triumphs of the great masters of their art, and they also 
study a play which is worth studying for itself, and, if they are as suc- 
cessful as the Lustleigh Barn Owls, they help a great many other people to 
study it also, and to enjoy it. In daring the contrast of their pretty scenery 
and splendid dresses with the rustic simplicity of their surroundings, the 
Barn Owls gave no doubt an added piquancy to the effect; but their 
success was due to their own merits, which were considerable. The one 
great perfection of the whole company was their beautiful elocution, which 
recalled the French stage. Every vowel was distinct and clear, and the 
lovers of Shakspearean poetry received full satisfaction by the way in which 


it was delivered. This was especially the case with the dignified, graceful 
Portia, who looked and spoke her part admirably. We think Miss Gould 
did not quite do justice to the more lively side of Portia's character. She 
did not fully bring out, though she indicated, the lady's thorough enjoyment 
of the joke, and we think she was more successful in the trial scene than in 
the choice of the caskets. Her gestures were all graceful and appropriate, 
but we think she might have ventured on a little more action and play of 
feature without losing the extreme elegance and refinement that marked her 
performance. Bassanio was charming, as he ought to be, but we think that 
in the trial scene both he and Antonio were a little too reticent and English. 
Italians, in such excitement, must have been more demonstrative, and some 
of the usual points, such as Antonio baring his bosom to the knife and 
Bassanio stopping him, are effective, if rather stagey. Gratiano and Nerissa 
were lively and interesting all through, and the Duke, as he rarely is, was 
ducal. The whole piece was thoroughly well put on the stage ; there was 
not a hitch from beginning to end ; every one knew what they had to do, 
and did it, and the performance must have represented an enormous 
amount of pains, thought, and hard practice. We have left Shylock to the 
last, for the general merit of the piece did not depend on the exceptional 
talent which enabled Mr. J. B. Gould to represent the character so effec- 
tively. Although Mr. Irving's reading of the poet was followed, there was 
no marked imitation of his manner and peculiarities. We think ourselves 
that Shylock was more villanous than it is now the fashion to represent him, 
having been first taught to hate him by Mr. Charles Kean. We could not 
detest him at Lustleigh as much as we wished, but it is of course quite open 
to any actor to think more of his misfortunes than his crimes, and Mr. J. B. 
Gould's Shylock was quite worthy to live in any one's memory as their ideal 
Jew of Venice. We wish the Lustleigh Barn Owls would give another per- 
formance of the " Merchant of Venice/' when we are sure that the less 
experienced of them would add to their many merits the care and freedom 
that only practice can give. 

On Thursday evening, January i ith, a performance was given at the Ryde 
Theatre by Mrs. Kemeys, a valuable and experienced actress, assisted by 
a number of local amateurs. The programme consisted of " Weak 
Woman," in which Mrs. Kemeys interpreted the character of Helen 
Gaythorne in a most effective manner. She received good support from 
Miss Agnes Temple as Lilian, and from Captain Somerset Maxwell as 
Fanshawe. Captain A. H. Dove as Captain Ginger, Mr. H. Durrant as 
Septimus Notal, Mr. Kaye Stewart as Arthur Medwyn, and Miss Wiber as 
Miss Gume, all rendered their parts in an able manner. " A Husband in 
Clover" was the concluding piece, and it was capitally acted by Captain 
Maxwell and Mrs. Kemeys. 

Lord Lytton's comedy, " Money," was selected by the Roscius Club for 
its third performance this season, which took place on Thursday evening, 
the 23rd of January. That the choice was a wise one was abundantly 
manifested by the success which attended its production, and which was 
no doubt enhanced by the fact that the majority of the ladies and gentle- 
men in the cast had played the same parts before, and were consequently 

iSo THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

able to add those little finishing touches here and there which go so far 
towards producing a satisfactory ensemble. This was especially noticeable 
in Miss Kate Erlam's rendering of the role of Clara Douglas, which she 
played throughout in a manner which left little to be desired. In her 
scenes with Alfred Evelyn she evinced a thorough appreciation of the 
author's meaning, and, which is rare with amateurs, her pathos was natural 
and unstrained. She was, moreover, admirably supported by Mr. Percy F. 
Marshall, as Alfred Evelyn, who appeared at home in the part, and played 
it in a manly and effective style. This lady and gentleman certainly car- 
ried off between them the honours of the evening. Miss Lottie Roberts 
was a good Lady Franklin, entering thoroughly into the fun of the part, 
but her efforts were sadly weighted by the Graves of Mr. Arthur Shirley, 
who was monotonously lugubrious and lachrymose, omitting all the lighter 
touches which render the melancholy widower amusing, and serve to show 
that his grief is not really so profound or so irreparable as he would have 
it assumed to be. Sir John Vesey had a capital exponent in Mr. Conyers 
Norton, who, as the shifty old baronet, was seen in one of his best imper- 
sonations. The Sir Frederick Blount of Mr. S. E. Forster was satisfactorily 
rendered, but his make up, which was otherwise good, was marred by the 
appearance of his dark hair beneath the fair wig which he wore. Mr. 
Arthur Snow gave a very gentlemanly and quiet rendering of Captain 
Dudley Smooth. Mr. L. F. Bertram, who seems to be troubled with a 
bad memory and rather wooden joints, made these peculiarities painfully 
manifest as Lord Glossmore. The rest of the cast was distributed among 
Messrs. H. S. Ram, E. J. Taylor, Stanley, Lee, &c., and Miss Laura 
Graves, and calls for no special notice. Miss Rose Dosell presided at the 
piano, and very agreeably filled up the commendably short intervals. The 
fourth performance is announced for March 6. 

" Is this a barn at Cote Hill, or are we not in London ?" was a question 
put one dark winter's night in a Cumberland village, close by Carlisle, on 
the occasion of some amateur theatricals successfully carried out under the 
energetic guidance of Mr. and Mrs. Tomlinson, of Englethwaite. Host 
and hostess are steady and devoted London playgoers, and they determined 
to show the Cumbrian folk how plays ought to be mounted, and, for the 
matter of that, acted out of London. Scenery, dresses, properties, and all 
accessories were accordingly sent down from the great metropolis, and the 
young people assembled at the beautiful house that tops the hill at Engle- 
thwaite worked bravely for the amusement of guests and visitors. The 
purely local talent consisted of Mrs. and Miss Tomlinson, Mr. Hodgson 
Horrocks, Mr. Currie, and Mr. Richards, and they were assisted by " the 
beautiful Miss Beddome," as she is called in the " north countrie," 
and by Mr. W. A. Simmons, a very experienced amateur actor. The 
plays selected were " Betsy Baker " and " The Little Sentinel," and the 
honours of the evening were fairly divided between Mrs. Tomlinson, 
Miss Beddome, who was a great favourite, Mr. W. A. Simmons, 
who made an excellent stage manager, and Mr. Horrocks. Between 
the plays the audience was delighted by an excellent reading of a 
tale called " Bobby Berks," with Cumbrian dialect, by the excellent host, 


Mr. John Tomlinson, and Mr. Metcalfe, of Carlisle, sang " John Peel " 
with stirring effect. The performances were so successful that dark winter's 
night at Cote Hill Barn that they were repeated for the benefit and 
amusement of the inmates of Garland's asylum on a subsequent evening. 

"The Strolling Players," who have for their president Mr. Edmund 
Routledge, gave a performance at St. George's Hall on February 13. The 
programme opened with the one-act drama by Sir Charles L. Young, 
entitled " For her Child's Sake," in which the honours were carried off by 
Mrs. Rudolf Blind, who proved by her excellent acting as Edith Ormonde 
that she possessed much ability for the stage, together with experience and 
a capital style. Miss Louise Stanhope was interesting as Geraldine, and 
Mr. William Pugh was adequate as Aubrey Verschoyle (pronounce, if you 
please, " Verskoyle"). But Mr. Cecil Hey wood was not well chosen for 
Mr. Marsham, and Mr. Claude Penley, who was not at all good as Stephen 
Ormonde, succeeded better as Baby Boodle in Gilbert's " On Guard," the 
principal piece of the evening. In this some very good acting also came 
from Mr. Arthur Ayers as Denis Grant, and Mr. William Chandler as 
Grouse. Mr. Philip Shepherd as Corney Cavanagh, Mr. Waller Lewis as 
Guy Warrington, Mr. Herbert Shephard as Druce, and Mrs. Howard as 
Mrs. Fitz-Osborne, were fair representatives of their parts. 

At the Londesborough Theatre, Scarboro', on Shrove Tuesday, a capital 
company of amateurs played Byron's comedy " Weak Woman," and a 
musical burletta by T. H. Bayly, entitled " The Swiss Cottage." Evident 
pains had been bestowed upon rehearsal, and Mr. H. S. RiddeH, the 
stage-manager, is to be complimented on the successful result of his 
superintendence. Colonel Ouchterlony, wondrous as to attire and make- 
up, was an excellent Ginger, and created much laughter. But the most 
noteworthy feature of the evening was the acting of Miss Edith Gellibrand. 
This young lady is one of the best amateurs we have seen for a long 
time ; not only does she possess the natural advantages of a pretty face and 
sympathetic voice, but she knows how to move on the stage with freedom 
and grace ; both as Helen Gaythorne in the comedy, and as Lisette in the 
after-piece, she acted charmingly and looked lovely. Miss Lina Gellibrand 
was thoroughly satisfactory as Lilian Gaythorne, and she and her sister, 
Miss Edith Gellibrand, may be said to have divided the honours of the 
evening between them. Conspicuous in the company was Mr. Claude 
Ponsonby, of whom I have often had occasion to speak so favourably. He 
is one of the best light comedians I have seen on the amateur stage for 
many a long year. The theatre was crowded with an appreciative 

1 82 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

ur mnibus Boy. 

THE present Session of Parliament will not be allowed to pass without 
some vigorous attempt being made to amend the vexatious laws that 
prevent free-trade in the matter of the amusements of the people. It may 
not be generally known, but it is nevertheless a fact, that so far back as 
1866 a Committee of the House of Commons, after taking evidence from 
experts in every branch of theatrical, literary, and music-hall art, delibe- 
rately recommended that the whole of the amusements of the people as 
regards licensing and inspection should be put under one responsible 
officer of the Crown. All the difficulties experienced now were felt in 1866, 
and had the report of that Committee been attended to instead of being 
treated as waste paper, we should have had no theatre difficulty, no music- 
hall difficulty, no Ash Wednesday absurdity, no fire crazes, no inconsistency, 
and no duplicated authority for seventeen long years. The theatres and 
the music-halls would then have been bodily transferred to the Home Office, 
and would have been properly inspected and ordered as our factories, 
workshops, and mines. Magistrates would no longer have been called 
upon to interpret stale old Acts of George II. as regards music and 
dancing ; nor would such anomalies as unlicensed theatres in Chelsea, and 
patent theatres in Drury Lane, have been permitted to exist, nor would 
the Board of Works been needed to carry on the functions properly 
relegated to a department of State. The chaos in which good Mr. Slingsby 
Bethell does not believe would have been obviated, and in all human 
probability public taste would not have been vulgarized, brutalized, and de- 
graded as it has been by denying free-trade and fair play to the music-halls 
of the Metropolis. For seventeen years the law would not have declared it 
to be improper for a man to see a wholesome and elevating entertainment, 
because he chose to enjoy a cigar or a pipe after his work was done. As 
matters stand now, and as they have stood since the days of George II., 
no one may smoke in a public hall without submitting his mind to 
the irritation of a senseless entertainment. There is not a capital in 
Europe, save London, were such absurdities are tolerated. 

And what is to be the remedy ? In the first place it is rumoured that the 
new Municipal Bill will place all amusement houses under the proposed 
Local Parliament, and relieve both the Lord Chamberlain and the magis- 
trates from their present functions. This may be an unmixed good or an 
unmixed evil. We do not yet know the constitution of the London Parlia- 
ment. The people who want to be amused may suffer, or they may gain by 
the reform. For my own part, I should prefer the legislation of the Home 
Office, or indeed any Government department, to that of a Board returned 
by ratepayers and possibly tainted by the prejudices of a vestry. But we 
cannot tell until we see how the thing works, and who knows how long it will 
be before the proposed Municipal Bill becomes law ? Meanwhile Mr. Dixon 
Hartland, M.P., will propose a most salutary measure, based on the House 

MARCH i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 183 

of Commons report of 1866; and the music-hall proprietors will do their 
utmost to obtain a censorship of the music-halls, that will relieve them of 
the dangers and difficulties of licensing day. If a censor is appointed by 
the magistrates reporting directly to them, it is fairly assumed that surprises 
will not be sprung upon managers when they come for a renewal of their 
usual license. This subject is of far greater importance than people are led 
to believe. The hard-worked people might be made better, purer, and less 
coarse, if they were allowed to reach the refining influences of music and the 
drama. They cannot reach them now, when the law stands in the way of 
freedom and fair play. 

With the exception of Vauthier, there is no actor on the Paris stage 
possessing a voice of such power as Dumaine's. Some time ago 
Dumaine had at the Porte Saint Martin a comrade named Machanette, 
who played " utility" parts. Machanette insisted that his voice was 
more powerful than that of Dumaine, an assertion to which the latter 
would never agree. Interminable discussions upon the subject took 
place amongst the company, until at last, tired of constantly wrangling, 
the two agreed to bring the matter to the test of experiment at the 
Porte Saint Martin cafe. " I'll lay a wager that I will crack a pane of 
glass by simply calling, Come in !" said Machanette. u I'll wager that you 
will not be able to do it, and that I will," replied Dumaine. " Two sous 
against five francs." " Done !" Dumaine commenced. He mounted 
upon one of the tables, inflated his lungs, and cried : " Come in !" The 
windows rattled, but did not break. The waiter, however, hurried to the 
spot to inquire whether he was wanted. In his turn Machanette mounted 
the table, coughed, cleared his throat, and cried : " Come in !" In a 
moment ten panes of glass flew into fragments. " What do you say to 
that ?" he said to Dumaine, triumphantly. " I have lost/' replied 
Dumaine, bursting with laughter. What had happened was this : 
Laurent, the actor, having been told of the wager made by his two com- 
rades, had placed himself, in company with Alexandre, outside the cafe, 
and the moment Machanette had made his trial had smashed the window- 
panes with their walking-sticks. Machanette never knew how he had been 

The theatres in the environs of Paris are, as is generally known, 
worked by three or four companies, who play the same piece in all 
the theatres successively. Last winter one of these troupes, that of 
Vincennes, were one night performing " Le Bossu" at Adamville-Saint- 
Maur, when, towards eleven o'clock, the actress entrusted with the 
part of young apprentice Tonio, having finally left the stage, observed that 
snow was beginning to fall, and became alarmed as to the means of getting 
back to her home. Eager to reach the railway- station without a moment's 
loss of time, she determined to set off from the theatre, dressed as she was, 
in Louis XIII. pourpoint, buff boots, and poignard at the girdle, only 

1 84 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

throwing a fur-cloak over her to hide her singular walking- costume. She 
was accompanied by Philippe de Nevers, who, killed in the first act, had 
nothing more to do, and both hurried along the avenue leading to the 
Parc-Saint-Maur station. But, arrived in the middle of the plain, they were 
overtaken by the storm in all its fury. Blinded, and with the breath nearly 
beaten out of them, they speedily lost their way, and at the end of five 
minutes knew no more where they were than if they had suddenly been 
turned adrift upon the steppes of Tartary. Giving up the idea of reaching 
the railway-station, they wished to retrace their way to Adamville. Impos- 
sible ! On all sides of them they could discern nothing but the plain, and 
still the plain, covered with a mantle of snow. Philippe raged ; Tonio wept. 
At length they perceived a light, and, as the late Ponson du Terrail would 
have said, that light was a house. They knocked knocked loudly at the 
door. Nobody answered the summons at first ; but, by dint of persistence, 
they at last succeeded in making themselves heard by the inhabitants, and 
saw a cotton nightcap peering suspiciously between the bars of a Venetian 
blind. ''Who's there?" demanded a disagreeable voice, issuing from 
beneath the cotton nightcap. " We have lost our way, and want to get 
back to Adamville," replied Philippe de Nevers. " Or the railway-station," 
suggested Tonio ; " we should have time, perhaps, to catch the last train." 
Unfortunate Tonio ! In pronouncing those words, with the action neces- 
sary to give them due point and emphasis, he had thrown open his cloak to 
consult his watch; his pourpoint Louis XIII. was uncovered, the high 
boots, the glittering silver hilt of the dagger in his girdle ! The cotton 
nightcap vanished ; the blinds were reclosed with a crash ; and from behind 
a voice discomposed by terror roared: "Take yourselves off! I've a 
double-barrelled gun, and I'll fire on you !" The unhappy artistes fled 
they knew not whither. Fortunately, they at last came up with some 
worthy souls who showed them the way to a rudimentary hotel, kept by an 
honest fellow named Casimir, who, with a hospitality worthy of the High- 
landers of Scotland^ gave them shelter till the next morning. 

I have received the following kind letter from Mr. Owen Fawcett, of 
the Union Square Theatre, New York : " I wish to correct an error in 
your excellent magazine that appeared in the October number, 1882. 

" In an article by W. C. M., * Rachel in the United States,' page 207, 
he says ' In Connecticut no dramatic entertainments of any kind have 
ever been permitted. In Massachusetts, with the exception of Boston, 
the same has been the case.' 

" I will answer with an experience of over twenty years. I have played 
in both Conn, and Mass., and some of our best paying cities are in what 
is called here, 'the States,' the Eastern Circuit, in New Haven, Conn. 
There are three very handsome theatres, one in Hartford, Conn., capable 
of seating over 1,900, and the town of Fall River, Mass., has one of the 
largest theatres in the country. 

" In the State of Conn, there are exactly thirty places at which Dramatic 

MARCH i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 185 

performances are given, I will answer for ten of them, having played there; 
and in Mass, forty-nine, and of that number I have been at twenty-one. 

" I merely write you this, so that THE THEATRE can be clear upon the 

London will not be long without a theatre as fine and as well conducted 
as the Alhambra. It would have been a reproach to a great metropolis had 
it have been otherwise, and had not existing material been utilized. Mr. 
Leader, so long connected with Her Majesty's Theatre, has discovered the 
philosopher's stone. Why should that excellent musician and skilled con- 
ductor M. Jacobi be doing nothing ; why should M. Bertrand, the accom- 
plished ballet-master have no material on which to expand his conspicuous 
energy, why should the famous Alhambra ballet be scattered to the winds ; 
why should not Miss Fanny Leslie be secured as soon as ever the Leeds 
pantomime is over ; why should all the foreigners ia London be sighing for 
the theatrical home they so much affected, where all was done on such a 
princely scale ? Why indeed ! at any rate so thinks Mr. Leader, who will 
open Her Majesty's at Easter, and give London a splendid show. 

Mr. Frederick Neebe is truly an enterprising theatrical caterer. He leases 
and ably manages the theatres at Bath, Exeter, Devonport, and Weymouth^ 
With his customary desire of appearing well to the front, Mr. Neebe ha s 
given Bath the first provincial production of " lolanthe," which is most 
creditably put forward at the comfortable theatre in that town. A better 
rendering of the opera than that given by Mr. D'Oyly Carte's company it 
would be difficult to imagine. Miss Jessie Louise impersonates the title 
role delightfully, and gains favourable opinions everywhere. The Queen of 
Fairies is played in very nice style by Miss F. Harrison ; and as Phyllis a 
better representative than Miss J. Findlay could not be desired. Earl 
Tolloler is in the able hands of Mr. C. C. Pounds, who makes up and 
plays the character perfectly. Justice is done to Strephon by Mr. Walter 
Greyling, and Mr. C. J. Stanley is successful as Mountararat. The Lord 
Chancellor of Mr. J. Wilkinson goes well, whilst Mr. G. W. Marler is seen 
to advantage as Private Willes. The remaining parts are satisfactorily 
disposed of. Mr. R. Hare is acting manager here. Mr. Neebe brought 
his most successful Exeter pantomime of " Robinson Crusoe" to Bath on 
Monday, February i2th, and will ring the changes with "lolanthe" upon 
his other establishments. 

The biter bit. A little incident which occurred a few weeks ago during 
the performance of " Romeo and Juliet" at the Berlin Royal Play-House 
has caused considerable excitement. Fraulein Marie Barkany, a pretty 
and talented young actress, lately engaged at the Court Theatre, was the 
representative of the ill-fated beauty, a part hitherto belonging to Fraulein 


1 86 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

Clara Meyer a popular favourite, but no longer in her first youth. As 
"Juliet" was dressing for the third act, her maid handed her a packet 
which had just been brought by a dienstmann; the excited actress quickly 
opened it, and turning pale, flung its contents away from her. It was a 
Todtenkranz, from which emanated a most peculiar odour. Trembling 
with emotion, she ran upon the stage and played her part so well, and with 
such passion, that there was a perfect " furore." Although it is generally 
believed that Clara Meyer had sent the "odorous wreath," through one 
of her admirers, to make her rival nervous, and so fail in her role, there 
are a few who insinuate that Barkany ordered the Todtenkranz herself, to 
create a sensation. At any rate this little incident has helped considerably 
to enhance the fame of Meyer's rival. 

Mr. D'Oyly Carte writes to the papers advocating the queue system a t 
pit and gallery doors as in Paris, and, in the warmth of his advocacy, he is 
a little hard on those members of the public who prefer to stand for hours 
outside the doors of a theatre instead of securing reserved seats. He thinks 
that they compose an unruly, pushing, impatient crowd ; whereas, at nearly 
every theatre in London, the expectant audience has very much to contend 
against. The tables might very readily be turned against the managers. 
Why do they not compel their architects to provide vestibules, or ante-rooms, 
for all who wait at the doors, instead of turning them into the street ? If the 
architect neglects the comfort of the hundreds who must wait at the doors in 
all weathers, why do not managers erect a glass awning abutting from the 
theatre wall, as Mr. Toole and Mr. Hollingshead have done, in the teeth of 
a strong parochial remonstrance ? Should these courtesies fail, is it quite 
impossible to open the doors a little earlier these wet and miserable nights ? 
Why should not the crowds be admitted as they appear ? There is always 
some one about a theatre, and I cannot see what harm pittites or gallery folk 
would do in their seats, reading the paper or a book. At any rate, anything 
is better than getting wet outside, and these are the people, at present so 
wretchedly provided for, who are told to stand in order and marshal them- 
selves. No crowd ever yet marshalled itself without a director in the form 
of a policeman. The weakest must go to the wall ; the strongest must 
inevitably prevail. The queue system is carried to an absurdity in Paris, 
and no one would wish to see it imitated here. We do not want to take 
tickets for omnibuses, or to be locked up in waiting rooms until the train 
arrives. But English people love order as well as most people, as may be 
seen at the ticket-office of every railway station. They want to be directed, 
not bullied. If Mr. D'Oyly Carte will shelter his patrons, he will earn 
their gratitude ; failing that, let him station a policeman to see that the strong 
do not prevail over the weak. Besides, the queue system is impossible 
without barriers. A door opened suddenly and letting in hundreds of 
people packed against it must create confusion, and more than half that 
confusion might be avoided not alone by temper on the part of the 
audience, but by common sense on the part of the managers. 

MARCH i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 187 

Madame Volnys, one of the most celebrated actresses on the French 
stage, during the close of the first third of this century, previously known as 
the wonderful child actress, Leontine Fay, was giving her counsels on the 
art of acting to an aspirant. Among other sage advice, she gave the fol- 
lowing : " Never forget that acting consists far less in action than in the 
way of saying the words of a part." I will give you an example. When I 
was attached to the Theatre Francais, I was cast, on the revival of Scribe's 
comedy " La Cameraderie," for the part of Cesarine. Monsieur Scribe 
objected. He considered me a melo-dramatic actress, and said that I 
made trop de gestes. I entreated the great author to allow me to study 
the part and to rehearse it once, promising to give it up without a murmur 
if my efforts displeased him. All. the greatest scenes of Ce'sarine are in 
the third act. Well, in this act, at rehearsal, I came on the stage dressed 
in furs with my hands in a muff. I made all my effects by expressions, 
looks, and slight movements of the head, without once removing my arms 
from the muff. At the end of the act I went down to the footlights,, and 
addressing Monsieur Scribe, who was superintending in the stalls, I said, 
with a profound courtesy, " Eh bien ! est-ce quejefais trop degestesT* Scribe 
was delighted, and not only insisted on my retaining the part, but made me 
a present of all my splendid dresses. During the whole run I never played 
my greatest scenes otherwise than with my hands closely confined in my 

Those "young eyases" at the Avenue Theatre, who have been bearing it 
away, Hercules and his load too, just now, represent a stage institution of very 
respectable antiquity. The first " aiery of children " employed for his- 
trionic purposes that we find recorded appear to have been the " aiery " 
belonging to the Chapel Royal, St. Paul's. As early as 1378 these Paul's 
children were petitioning Richard II. against the infringement by certain 
" ignorant persons " of the aiery 's exclusive rights to perform a highly 
popular "mystery" as a Christmas piece. From mystery-acting of this 
kind, the children of Paul's passed, in process of time, to the " regular " 
drama. At the accession of Elizabeth they were considered the first com- 
pany of actors in the kingdom. Their supremacy they seem to have owed 
in part to the skill and experience of Richard Bower, the Perrin of his day, 
who had "administered" them during the three preceding reigns, and in 
part, no doubt, also, to the very liberal powers with which their manager 
was invested by that series of Royal Commissions which authorized him 
" to take up " for the service of Her Majesty as many promising youngsters 
as he might think fit. Not that he would be likely to meet with many 
recalcitrant recruits. Her Majesty's "unfledged minions" were not only 
allowed to " flaunt it in silkes and sattens," and to outrage the sumptuary 
notions of an anonymous writer who foreshadowed Prynne by " the gorgeous 
decking of their apparel," but their pay, and the presents they received in 
addition just as the French actor of to-day receives his feux every time 
they acted, must have been well worth having. Thus, on March TO, 
1589-90, there was paid to the children of Paul's for three plays no less a 
sum than ,20, and " by way of reward" an additional sum of ^10. 

O 2 

1 88 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

The success achieved by Bower's company eventually brought about 
the formation of rival " aieries," such as the Children of Westminster, the 
Children of Windsor, and, more famous than either, the Children of the 
Chapel Royal. And, it is to be feared, that these rivals of the Paul's com- 
pany did not always stick to legitimate and loyal opposition. Now and 
then, it appears, a " Young Roscius " belonging to the rival house would be 
actually kidnapped by an unscrupulous entrepreneur at the other end of 
town. Sebastian Westcott, Bower's successor, had " one of his principal 
players stolen and conveyed from him " in this way ; and a body no less 
august than the Privy Council took the matter up, and called upon a no less 
eminent personage than the Master of the Rolls " to proceed with such as 
he found guilty according to law, and the order of this realm." 

Conspicuous amongst the mannikin company of the Chapel Royal 
must have been that " S. P." on whom Ben Jonson wrote those dainty, 
tender lines, that prove, even more plainly than does the famous sonnet, 
what a master he was of this kind of writing when he liked. " S. P." was 
Salathiel Pavy, the little " old man" of the troupe. But let the Laureate 
speak of him. " Rare Ben" is so forgotten that his verses may read 
new : 

" Weep with me all you that read 

This little story, 
And know for whom a tear you shed 

Death's self is sorry. 
'Twas a child that so did thrive 

In grace and feature, 
That Heav'n and Nature seem'd to strive 

Which owned the creature. 
Years he number'd scarce thirteen, 

When fates turned cruel, 
Yet three fill'd Zodiacs had he been 

The stage's jewel ; 
And did act (what now we mone) 

Old men so duly 
As soothe the Parcse though him one, 

He play'd so truly ; 
So by error to his fate 
They all consented, 
But viewing him since (alas ! too late) 

They have repented, 
And have sought, to give new birth, 

In baths to steep him, 
But being so much too good for earth, 
Heav'n vows to keep him." 

We have had a rush of aspirants for dramatic fame tumbling upon us one 
after the other, and the popular Gaiety matinees have been properly used 
for the maiden efforts of ambitious young men and women. It is really 
difficult to see what else they can do. To tell them to go into the country 
is to tell them so much nonsense. There are no stock companies in the 
country, and managers do not fill the ranks of travelling companies with 
untried amateurs. And yet in certain quarters where every maiden and 

MARCH i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 189 

ambitious effort is treated with ignorant con tempt, and where every gentleman 
or lady going upon the stage is overhauled in a column at least of vulgar 
personality, the country is always recommended. Of course utilize the 
country, and a very good practice too ; but how, for instance, could Miss 
Rosa Kenney, or Miss Filippi, or Mr. Gilbert Farquhar have ever got to the 
country unless they had made a public appearance in London, and risked 
the inevitable column of offensive patronage or unrelieved rudeness ? Some 
of the actresses of the future who made the experiment, such as Miss 
Eweretta Lawrence and Miss Rosina Villiers, were found so good that they 
at once stepped without any apprenticeship into London engagements, and 
indeed they are quite as clever, if not better, than many who have a London 
reputation. It cannot be doubted that Mr. Gilbert Farquhar will soon come 
to town, and will be usefully employed in many plays. He, like so many 
others, has to pay the penalty of being well-bred, by being treated to long 
and insolent articles as a sop to that indifferent class of actor that considers 
the stage ought to be reserved for struggling people of indifferent origin, 
and who wail about so and so taking the bread out of the poor actor's 
mouth ! The stage is an art as well as any other art, and the Gilbert 
Farquhars of to-day have as much right to practise it as princes and peers 
have to exhibit at our picture galleries. This inverted radicalism is 
extremely silly. How far has the stage suffered from welcoming to its arms 
men and women of the highest education and most gentle breeding? It 
has not only obtained a valuable addition of strength, but has materially 
improved the status of the stage. When prejudice against the actor qud 
actor is disappearing, it is curious to notice the prejudice against good 
breeding being set up in its place. Let us have more Arthur Cecils and 
Brookrields and Farquhars and Miss Lawrences, and so on, if their humour 
can please us and their natural refinement can charm. At any rate, do not 
let them be driven off by the short,, snappish, and currish bark of ill- 
tempered prejudice. So far as one can judge, ladies like Miss Calhoun, 
Miss Eweretta Lawrence, and Miss Villiers will take a high place in the 
thinned ranks of English actresses. 

The one hundreth night of a pretty comic opera ought to be chronicled 
in a magazine devoted to the drama. Such a fate has befallen " Rip Van 
Winkle," the musical version of Washington Irving's famous legend. It 
was in the legendary or mystical part of the composition that the original 
performance fell somewhat short of what had been expected. The scene 
preparatory to Rip's long sleep left something wanting. All that has now 
been improved, and the goblin-haunted scene gains in meaning and intensity 
by beautiful tableaux and a clever and picturesque arrangement of the 
stage. The cast is also improved by the welcome reappearance of Miss 
Camille Dubois, a very charming artist, who allows time to pass her by, 
and is both graceful and sympathetic. The performance of Mr. Lionel 
Brough is one of the most amusing things on the comic stage. The 
question of the hour is, " How on earth does he jerk that cigar into his 

mouth?" It is the talk and trial of smoking-rooms, and the result 

burned faces ! 

THE THE A TRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

As a curiosity in the art of astounding impudence, I venture to print, 
in extenso, a playbill I have received from Whitehaven, announcing the 
production of " Fedora," the greatest play of the age, and declaring it to 
be the sole property of Mr. Gardiner Coyne, whilst, as all the world knows, 
the sole and exclusive right of performing " Fedora" in Great Britain and 
Ireland has been purchased from M. Victorien Sardou, the author, by Mr. 
Bancroft, of the Haymarket : 


Sole Lessee Mr. GARDINER COYNE. 

Directress Miss BERTHA FLETCHER. 



First Time at any Theatre, in Great Britain and Ireland, of an English Translation of 
the great French Play, now being performed nightly at the Vaudeville Theatre, Paris, 
by Madame SARAH BERNHARDT, before thousands of crowded and delighted spectators, 
entitled, LORIS and 


in which the accomplished actress, 


(Mrs. Gardiner Coyne), 

Will appear as " FEDORA," Every Evening. 

l|j|f This great Play (being freely translated from the French, and written expressly 
for Miss BERTHA FLETCHER), is the sole property of Mr. GARDINER COYNE, to whom 
it is Fully Licensed by the Lord Chamberlain, and duly protected ; and now produced for 
the first time, with all the requisite Scenery, Music, Costumes, Lime Light Effects, c. 

Grand Production of the 


On MONDAY EVENING, January 22nd, 

And Every Evening until further notice, 

Will be produced the Romantic Play (freely translated from the French), 
entitled, LORIS and 


The New Scenery designed and executed by Mr. W. V. FRANKLYN ; the Overture and 
Music by Mr. J. W. BENSON ; the Lime Light Effects by Mr. F. RIDGWAY ; the Mag- 
nificent Dresses, worn by Miss BERTHA FLETCHER, designed by Mons. WORTH and 
Madame ELISE, &c. 
Count Vladimar (Son of the I Loris Ipanoff (a Russian 

Chief of Police) Mr. W. CARSON. Gentleman) Mr.G. H. BEAUFORT. 

The Princess Fedora Roman- 

zoff (a rich Widow) ... Miss BERTHA FLETCHER. 
Michel (her Maid) ... Miss LIZZIE ROSIER. 

Doctor, Guests, Attendants, &c. 

Principal Incidents of this Marvellous Exciting Play : 
RUSSIA. Eve of the Marriage of the Princess Fedora and Count Vladimar. Sudden 

Disappearance and Mysterious Death of the Count. Vengeance on the Murderer of my 

Dead Lover ! 

PARIS. Fedora's Withered Heart under the Mask of Gaiety. The Lover in the Net. 

Love against the World. 

LONDON. Marriage of Loris and Fedora. The Nihilist Spy. Terrible Accusations ! 

Death of Fedora ! ! 

Ivan (his Valet) Mr. H. KEVERN. 

Tchiliff (a Jewish Merchant). Mr. A. JEFFERSON. 
Gretch (Lieutenant of Police). Mr. R. FITZGERALD. 


It is as well to let all provincial managers know that Mr. Bancroft is deter- 
mined to proceed against any one infringing his rights for heavy damages, 
and he is quite right to do so. There was a time when French authors 
got nothing whatever for the plays that were the bases of the best dramas, 
melodramas, and farces ever seen in this country. Five-and-twenty years ago 
the stage subsisted on annexed French pieces. Mr. Bancroft, and managers 
of his era, were the first to pay French authors for their work, and they pay 
them heavily. They, in turn, ought to be protected by their brother 
managers, and such programmes as these, at whatever cost, ought to be 
exposed in their interests. 

I look back through the vista of fifteen years and behold what was then 
the New Queen's Theatre, in Long Acre. The play to be enacted to-night 
is by Mr. Henry J. Byron ; it is a domestic piece, and called " Dearer than 
Life." Mr. Toole is to be the hero, one Michael Garner, and there is much 
interest attached to the experiment, because just now he is breaking away 
from the purely farcical parts with which his name has been associated, and 
undertaking "Robsonian" characters of pathetic interest. The juvenile role 
of Charles Garner is set down for Charles Wyndham, a young actor who 
made a great hit on the opening night of the Queen's Theatre, in a play by 
Charles Reade, and Bob Gassitt is assigned to Henry Irving, an actor of 
whom all London is already talking as a delineator of strong character. 
Already he has " created" Rawdon Scudamore, in " Hunted Down," at the 
St. James's, and appeared with great strength in " Idalia/' a dramatic version 
of one of Ouida's novels, and he has yet to appear in " The Lancashire 
Lass," and be specially complimented by Charles Dickens for his admirable 
acting ; moreover, he has yet to create Mr. Chenevix and Digby Grant, and to 
nter into a career of wider usefulness. Uncle Ben is to be played by Mr. 
Lionel Brough, and a wonderfully realistic performance it turns out to be ; 
and Mr. Kedgely is entrusted to Mr. John Clayton, a young actor who is 
already making his mark. The interesting heroine is Miss Henrietta 
Hodson, a charming, sympathetic, and sweet-voiced actress, who by-and- 
by is to be manageress of the Royalty, and to distinguish herself still 
more. And when did all this happen ? you will ask. Well, on January 8, 
1868, fifteen years ago, and yet I remember it all as if it were yesterday, 
even to the make-up of Mr. Clayton's wig and whiskers. Since that time, 
nearly every one of the original cast have become famous as managers or 
manageresses, and have drifted away from domestic drama of so simple a 
kind. Mr. Toole remains the same tender-hearted, honest, amusing, and 
pathetic Michael Garner of old, with fun as fresh as ever, and force un- 
impaired. He plays the part admirably, with more than his accustomed 
humour and pathetic force. In Mr. Toole's clever little company, two 
members stand out strongly, Mr. E. D. Ward as Charles Garner, and Mr. 
Billington as Uncle Ben, a character quite out of his usual line, but one that 
has a very happy result. 

But one of the most interesting features of this revival is the appearance 
at this theatre of Miss Marie Linden, a young actress of exceptional 

192 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

cleverness, and one who is eminently sympathetic to her audience. I 
had the pleasure of seeing this young lady act at the Philharmonic Theatre 
some months ago in a play by Mr. Mackay, and thought very highly of her 
talent, and regretted to find her the other evening so ill-placed as she was 
in "The Yellow Dwarf," at Her Majesty's Theatre. At this little theatre 
Miss Linden has found a congenial home, and she will find the very pieces 
that will suit her emotional and graceful style. Though very young, she 
has evidently had experience. She is no novice at her art, and she has that 
best of all gifts in an actress a melodious voice. In the characters hitherto 
identified with Miss Lydia Foote, Miss Marie Linden is likely to be spe- 
cially identified, and her career will be watched with great interest. The 
excellent musical farce, called " Guffin's Elopement," goes better than ever. 
Mr. E. D. Ward's acting of Mr. Collingwood Sampson, the gurgling visitor 
to the inn, is an excellent bit of original character : and Mr. Toole's story 
of the adventure in Number Nine, and his song, " The Speaker's Eye," 
bring one back to the good old days of farce, not to be seen anywhere now 
but in King William Street, Strand. 

Mr. A. H. Wall writes to me as follows: "I have just seen in your 
February number Mr. H. Beerbohm-Tree's good-natured attack upon my 
paper in the January number of Time. My meaning has been somewhat mis- 
understood, and consequently misrepresented (perhaps because I do not 
express it with sufficient clearness), and he has accidentally given as mine an 
opinion of Mr. Button Cook's, overlooking my quotation marks. Will you 
kindly permit me to say that I do not suppose the character of Othello 
would gain in dramatic force, sentiment, or feeling by being played in 'a 
white tie and patent leather boots,' although 1 have seen a great actor 
wearing those articles hold a large audience spell-bound while declaiming 
scenes from that wonderful tragedy. May I moreover add that, on the 
other hand, I cannot conceive a tragedian not suffering disparagement, or 
a tragedy not losing dignity and power, by being associated with absurd 
costumes which chanced to be archaeologically accurate, although where 
accuracy of costume lends force to the actor's conception, and harmonizes 
with that of the author, I should shake hands heartily with Mr. Beerbohm- 
Tree's idea, and earnestly desire its adoption. 

" I cannot, by-the-by, regard Shakespeare's anachronisms as trivial." 

The last work of the late George Mason, entitled " The Harvest Moon,"" 
now being exhibited at Mr. Dunthorne's studio in Vigo Street, is one of 
those pictures which must rivet our attention by its wonderful portrayal; 
of life and character, combined with a rare perception for the beauties of 
Nature. It will probably not greatly attract the eye of the casual observer, 
so subtle, so delicate, are the ideas with which the whole subject is in- 
vested. But those who linger and ponder over it will be amply repaid by 
the thoughts it inspires and the beauties it reveals to us at every moment.. 

MARCH i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 193 

At the first glance it is a little puzzling judging by the full moon already 
high in the heavens to account for the warm red light which envelops 
the whole composition, until one becomes aware that the artist's intention 
has been that the rays of the setting sun, supposed to be behind us, are in 
no way abated, though the moon has already risen. Many are the poems 
which could be made out of this picture. Take, for instance, the winding 
lane, overshadowed by thick masses of foliage, down which are wandering 
a country girl and youth, seemingly wholly oblivious of their companions, 
who are wearily wending their way home after the day's work. A sweet 
study, indeed, does this country lass make, in her pink frock, large white 
apron, and sun-bonnet, which enhances the fair face it shelters. Her arms 
are flung behind her head, and the whole pose of the straight lithe figure 
is admirable. So is the expression of the face, with its half-curious, half- 
wondering look as she listens to the whispered words of the lad by her 
side. The violin under his arm betokens that, though he has borne his 
share in the day's toil, it has been cast aside as soon as possible, so that 
he may please some one else by the voice of the music he loves and 
understands. The exquisite harmony of soft colours immediately surround- 
ing them blend in with the reapers, whose figures occupy the centre of the 
picture. The attitudes both of men and women are lifelike in depiction of 
that utter weariness, that longing for home, where they will enjoy the rest 
so well earned. Every figure possesses a striking individuality from the 
lad passing through the low wooden gate (his scythe, round which his arms 
are twined, slung across his back) to the girl bearing home the sheaf of 
wheat, which is transformed into a soft rose colour by the light of the 
setting sun. As a whole, it must be affirmed that there is a certain irre- 
gularity about the work, which makes us inclined to draw comparisons 
between one portion and another, thus regarding them as separate subjects 
instead of an undividable whole. But, as we have before said, this may 
arise from the various thoughts it calls into play. The quiet loveliness in 
which the subject has been conceived and executed is supreme ; and we 
are loth to break the spell which, for the time being, it casts over us, 
unwilling to bid farewell to such an atmosphere of peace and rest. Nor 
must we forget to mention the etching which Mr. Macbeth has made of 
this picture, which in exquisite delicacy of touch and outline leaves nothing 
to be desired. In every way it is worthy of a work such as this, which 
must linger in the imagination as a marvellous illustration of character, 
mingled with touching pathos, exquisite colouring, and a rare appreciation 
for all that is most holy and beautiful in nature. 

The article headed " A Ladies' Debate on Henry Irving" has attracted 
considerable attention, and to judge from the correspondence I have received 
on the subject, a desperate endeavour has been made to express in words 
appropriate and convincing the thoughts that were evidently in the mind 
of Miss Rees, when she so enthusiastically endeavoured to combat the hete- 
rodoxy of Mrs. Brooksbanks on the subject of the manner and personality 
of our greatest actor. It is questionable if a neater or more critical sum- 

194 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

mary of Mr. Irving's persuasiveness has been given than in an article by 
Mr. J. Comyns Carr on "English Actors," printed in The Fortnightly 
Review for February. Our readers will be glad of the quotation ; and if 
it leads them to turn to the article and to study it, they may be persuaded 
at one blow of the fallacy of the statement, that " we have no great actors, 
and no good critics." 

" In place of the formal principles of a school, Mr. Irving brought to his task the 
merits and defects of a strongly denned personality. From the narrow realism of Matthias 
in ' The Bells,' he passed to the interpretation of the characters of poetical drama, 
evincing at every step new and original powers of intellectual perception, and gaining 
with every fresh experiment increased command over the technical resources of his art. 
But the peculiar idiosyncrasies of his style have followed him throughout his career, re- 
pelling those whom they do not attract, and causing a certain class of critics, who fail to 
perceive any deeper significance in his work, to deny his title to the place he has un- 
doubtedly won for himself in public esteem. I cannot but think that such critics take too 
little account of the part which artistic individuality has always played in the triumphs of 
the theatre. It is sometimes said that the actor lives but for the hour, and that, unlike 
the professors of other arts, he is unable to leave behind him any solid or enduring 
monument of his genius. In this there is only half a truth, for it leaves out of sight the 
compensating advantage to the player of enjoying a reputation which posterity can 
neither question nor destroy. The mannerisms of the actors of the past are lost in the 
tradition of their power ; the recollection of their influence over the public of their time, 
if it does not exaggerate the reality, at least grows richer in ideal suggestion as the living 
form of the actor's presence loses distinctness and definition. The intellectual strength of 
the impersonation thus outlives the image of the man, and in our gratitude for the pas- 
sion he displayed, and for the emotion he excited, we willingly banish remembrances of 
those marked peculiarities of style and manner, which even in the cases of the greatest 
actors must often be inappropriate to the characters they are called upon to interpret. 
It is this inevitable presence of the artist in his work that renders acting, considered 
as a vehicle for the embodiment of the abstract conceptions of poetry, the most difficult 
and delicate of all the arts. The painter can take from his model just so much as he 
needs for the purposes of his picture ; he may accept the inspiration of reality without 
making himself its slave ; but the actor in pursuit of an ideal invention is met at every 
turn by the hindrance or the help of his own personality, and from this there is no possi- 
bility of escape. An art which has to submit itself to such conditions cannot hope for 
faultless harmony of effect. It is enough for the actor if he can suggest to us the varied 
kinds of beauty which his craft is sometimes powerless to render completely, and if in 
special moments of inspiration he can by an intellectual effort so absolutely identify him- 
self with his character as to efface the recollection of all that is ineffective in the inferior 
parts of his work. Judged according to this standard, it seems to me that Mr. Irving's 
fame rests on a sure foundation. The desperate calm of mingled passion and fear in 
the great scene of ' Eugene Aram ;' the controlled pathos of the closing act of ' Charles I. ;' 
the sinister comedy of ' Richard III.;' Shylock's fixed and unalterable resolve of ven- 
geance, subtly alternating in its expression between the low cunning and husbanded 
cruelty of a humiliated race, and the dignity that is the inalienable possession of suffering 
and wrong ; the humour that plays upon the surface of lago's passionless delight in 
human torture ; the chivalrous sympathy with sorrow, and the manly tenderness of heart, 
that break through the cynical armour of Benedick ; these are, to my mind, memorable 
instances of an actor's power over his art and over his audience that will outlast the 
objections, however justly grounded in themselves, that can be brought against isolated 
passages in each or all of the performances in which they are displayed.'' 

When such articles as Mr. Comyns Carr's in The Fortnightly, and Mr. 
Wedmore's in The Nineteenth Centtiry, on the subject of modern dramatic 
art, appear in one month, it cannot be said that dramatic criticism is wholly 
a lost art. 


A theatrical magazine is surely the place to preserve the occasional verses 
and addresses that mark important dramatic occasions, and are the epitaphs 
of departed friends. One of the neatest and most felicitous of these was 
that written by Mr. Henry S. Leigh, and admirably recited by Mr. 
Fernandez, on the occasion of the benefit awarded to the widow of Charles 
Lamb Kenney, author, wit, dramatist, and critic. Turn to any of the old 
theatrical books, and be they written by David Garrick, his contemporaries 
or successors, where can better verse be found than this ? 

A frolic fancy, tireless on the wing, 

With subtle wit which never left a sting ; 

A memory stocked with aptly pleasant lore, 

A tongue to keep full tables in a roar ; 

Mirth ever fresh to grace the comic scene, 

With lyric smooth or jest adroitly keen ; 

A critic's power, in kindly spirit plied 

These all took flight when Charles Lamb Kenney died ; 

Whose nature, fondly faithful to the end, 

Ne'er made one enemy nor lost one friend. 

Few lives are left among us less to blame 

Than his who bore the gentle " Elia's" name. 

Still, though the lost one all our praise command, 

Let praise be linked with pity, hand in hand. 

Sore sickness comes we scarce know how or when 

To cramp the brain and paralyze the pen ; 

Do as we may, the Fates are stubborn still, 

And make the body tyrant o'er the will ! 

''Twas his to bear again and yet again 

Long days and longer nights of bitter pain ; 

'Twas his, when death's release was drawing nigh, 

To quit the world and care without a sigh ; 

But one was left, and left forlorn indeed, 

For whom, good friends, 'tis ours to-day to plead 

A duty sacred and a solemn task, 

A favour yet an easy one to ask. j 

'Tis granted ! Let me, pray, the boon requite 

With heartfelt thanks the grateful widow's mite. 

" Is the Dramatic Authors' Society dead?" is a question that has been 
asked me by numerous correspondents, for the most part amateurs very 
anxious to play pieces belonging to the Society, and unwilling to infringe on 
the rights of authors. No, certainly not. Mr. Palgrave Simpson, the 
courteous and respected secretary, has retired from the post he held so long 
and worthily. So far as I can gather, the case stands as follows : Last 
summer a committee was appointed to consider the condition, present and 
future, of the Dramatic Authors' Society, and at the special general 
meeting, held on January n, it was resolved: i. That the Dramatic 
Authors' Society cease to do business as an agency on the 25th March next, 
and that all the assets of the Society be realized, and the debts and liabili- 
ties of the Society be discharged. 2 . That the members of the Dramatic 
Authors' Society be requested to entrust their agency business, given up by 
the Society, to Mr. Douglas Cox, who for the last fourteen years has been in 

196 THE THE A TRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

the service of the Society and now proposes to carry on the business as a 
Dramatic Authors' agent. In response to this latter resolution, most of 
the existing members of the Society have entrusted the agency of their 
pieces to Mr. Douglas Cox, who retains the present offices and all the 
machinery connected with the working of the Society, and has, in addition, 
appointed agents in all the large towns in the United Kingdom. I am given 
to understand that a proposition is about to be made whereby the 
Dramatic Authors' Society will still be carried on for the purpose of discus- 
sing the rights of authors and all matters pertaining to the copyright law, and 
that Mr. Douglas Cox has placed his offices at the disposal of the members 
for meetings to be periodically held. 

Mr. A. Oakey-Hall has, in the Spirit of the Times, of New York, written 
a very clever and accurate description of the theatrical storehouse presided 
over by Mr. S. French in the Strand. In the course of his wanderings over 
the old mansion our author is supposed to have a dream of celebrated 
actors and actresses. 

*' By the time my thorough explorations of the old mansion was ended 
a heavy fog had fallen outside, and duskiness was creeping into cupboard 
corners and shelving crannies, and, as I passed down through what I 
mentally called Time's * play' room, it seemed for an instant to be peopled. 
And upon no day since have I been enabled to dispel an illusion that I 
caught glimpses of the old players and authors (whose bones and pens are 
alike in dust), or that they daily hold receptions amid the printed copies of 
works which were their pride, or glory, or disappointment, or amusement, 
in the life of London, which, it is to be hoped, French pere and French 
Jils may long enjoy. Amid those glimpses (quickly seen, as battalions are 
beheld in dark nights by a sentinel under a flash of lightning), there seemed 
to be, in all the glory of bag-wigs, knee-breeches, broad-coats, laces, and 
swords (the dress of their period), the stately Betterton ; the versatile 
Gibber ; the grotesque Quin vivacious ' Dick' Estcourt ; the impassioned 
Barton Booth and Spranger Barry ; the popular Mossop and John Hender- 
son, and the popularized Ned Shuter, Quick, and Tom King ; the plastic 
Macklin ; the ' plausible' Jack Palmer; Farren the first ; fidgetty ' Sam' 
Foote ; Gentleman Yates; the elocutionary Baddeley; the doubly-honoured 
Cumberland ; loquacious Tate Wilkinson ; the witty Congreve ; the plod- 
ding Murphy ; the jovial Colmans ; the inspired Sheridan ; the ' manners- 
catcher' Holcroft j the unmanageable Samuel Johnson ; the coarse Van 
Brugh ; the polished Addison ; the sarcastic Steele ; the ingenious Far- 
quhar ; the complacent Rowe ; the methodical Bickerstaff ; the incompar- 
able Goldsmith ; and the industrious trio, O'Kelly, O'Keete, and Reynolds 
who, in various pairings, were escorting, in all their own special beauty 
and glory of powder, patches, diamonds, bodices, frills, hooped petticoats 
and dainty footgear, Mesdames Bracegirdie, the enrapturing ; Verbrugger, 
the coquettish ; Oldfield, the queenlike ; ' Polly- Peacham'-Fenton ; 
Bellamy, the bewitching ; Peg Woffington, the idol ; * Kitty' Clive, the 

MARCH i, i883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 1 97 

entrancing ; Pritchard, the capturing ; Susanna Gibber, the capricious ; 
Abington, the quick winner of applause ; and Siddons, the peerless. 

" Mingling in another throng, apart from the others, I seemed also to 
catch glimpses, amid the ghostly visitants of the rooms of French pere, but 
clad in the more modernizings of costumes and dress, the erratic George 
Frederick Cooke ; laughing Jack Bannister; the majestic Kembles; the 
seductive Mrs. Jordan ; the volatile Edwin ; Kean, the terrible ; and 
Kean, the conservative, with his sweet Ellen Tree ; the majestic Mayne 
Young ; ' that paragon of a Wallack ;' the eccentric Elliston ; the mimetic 
Matthewses ; Munden, the droll ; Emery, the buoyant ; Liston, the mirth- 
provoker ; Miss Foote, the graceful ; Miss O'Neill, the beautiful ; Miss 
Kelley, the beguiler ; Mrs. Glover, Mrs. Nesbitt, and Madame Vestris, the 
three dramatic Graces ; Macready, the conscientious ; Booth, the un- 
reliable ; Brooke, the hapless ; Phelps, of Shakesperean lore ; Sheridan 
Knowles, the constructor; Lemon, and Jerrold, and Talfourd, and Lytton 
(whom word-painting cannot justly reach) ; Buckstone, the unctuous ; 
Webster, the master of stage ' business ;' Bunn, the conceited ; Balfe, the 
tender ; Tom Taylor, the fertile ; Planche, the enthusiast ; A'Becket, the 
professor of theatric badinage ; and Harry Montague, the true, the gentle, 
and the early lost " 

I find that I have made a mistake, and hasten to rectify my error ; and 
I am all the more ready to do so when I find that I have unintentionally 
done an act of injustice to a very clever young actor at the Hay market 
Theatre Mr. Charles Brookfield. During the recent performance of 
" Caste," by Mr. Robertson, I thought I detected one or two interpo- 
lations in the original text, but I foolishly selected the wrong instance for 
comment. I find that Mr. Brookfield was only speaking the correct text 
when he talked of old Eccles " bluing" the money that had been given to 
his daughter. The exact words of the text are 

" GEORGE. So, papa, Eccles had the money ? 
SAM. And ' blued' it !" 

So here are my apologies to Mr. Brookfield, who is naturally as averse to 
a gag" as any actor possibly can be. At any rate, he should not be 
accused of " gagging" when he does not indulge in the baneful practice, 
should he ? 

The old complaint that theatrical managers will never give themselves 
the trouble to read any of the numerous manuscripts sent in to them by 
unknown authors is perpetually cropping up. In some cases there may 
be a foundation for such an accusation, certainly. But in general it must 
be said, at the present day, there is no ground for it whatever. Many 
managers, spite of their numerous wearying and absorbing avocations, do 
their best to give attention to the enormous piles of manuscript papers 
heaped on their poor responsible heads. It is grievous, under such cir- 
cumstances, to have dinned into their ears the cuckoo cry, " They manage 
these matters better in France." Do they? The following anecdote, 

198 THE THEA TRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

cited among a thousand other instances, goes some way to controvert the 

Monsieur Rocqueplan, when manager of the Varietes Theatre in Paris, 
was notorious for his persistent refusal to hold any communication with any 
dramatic author whomsoever. Every precaution was used in his theatre 
to keep dramatic authors from entering his managerial sanctum. Liraudin, 
a well-known vaudevilltste, better known still as a celebrated confiseur, 
resolved, by some means or other, to break through the ban. After 
endeavouring in vain to obtain legitimate access to the manager, he was 
wandering in the small court-yard behind the theatre, when he became 
aware of a ladder which was placed against the wall close by the windows 
of the managerial room. A bricklayer, hod on back, was about to mount 
it. Liraudin, with a heavy bribe, offered to take his place whilst he went 
to refresh himself at the nearest cabaret. The workman consented ; and 
the dramatic author, with the hod on his shoulders, ascended to the 
manager's window, manuscript in hand. Taken aback by this sudden 
apparition, Monsieur Rocqueplan consented to submit to a reading of the 
manuscript, provided the author remained on the ladder outside, still sup- 
porting his burden on his back. Liraudin had not read far, however, when 
the inaccessible manager begged him to clamber in at the window and 
finish his reading in the room. By his eccentric persistence, Liraudin 
obtained the acceptance of his piece, " La Vendetta," which achieved an 
enormous success at the Theatre des Varietes, and has been equally for- 
tunate on the English stage, where it is known as " A Thumping Legacy" 
to this day ; after having been rendered famous by the acting of Keeley and 
Robson, it has become a staple farce in many English theatres. 

Miss Elaine Verner gave a costume recital at the Stein way Hall on 
January 31, and displayed much dramatic power in the potion scene from 
" Romeo and Juliet." Her Rosalind in some scenes from " As You Like 
It" was very graceful and pleasing, and in several other selections Miss 
Elaine Verner proved that she possessed much dramatic power. 

York, we believe, is the only town in England where an Easter panto- 
mime is a recognized institution, and, if we remember rightly, the fare 
usually served up elsewhere at Christmas has always in that city been pre- 
sented at Easter, where it is as greatly relished as at the more orthodox 
season. Mr. Victor Stevens once more is to be solely responsible for this 
year's production, and has secured the services of a first-rate company, 
which is headed by that sprightly burlesque actress, Miss Nellie Bouverie, 
who will play the title role of Dick Whittington. 

My predictions have proved true, and Mrs. Bernard-Beere has been 
selected to play " Fedora" in Mr. Herman Merivale's version of the play 
already in preparation at the Haymarket. This lady's performance in 
"Jane Eyre" quite justifies the choice, and she has now an opportunity 

MARCH i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 199 

before her such as falls to few ambitious artists. It is an arduous task, 
but one that is looked on favourably by all who have watched the lady's 
career, and her unrivalled determination to succeed. In order to recover 
her strength, and forget the anxieties of management, Mrs. Beere has 
gone abroad, through Paris, to the south of France. She will thus be 
enabled to visit her friend Sara Bernhardt, to sit at the feet of Sardou, 
and to study Fedora under the orange- trees of Nice. An enviable 
holiday ! 

The brilliant success of " The Silver King" at London and New York 
has now been followed by a triumph equally noteworthy in the English 
provinces. This admirable, well-written, and poetical drama by Mr. H. A. 
Jones and Mr. Herman has been produced at Hull under the most favour- 
able circumstances, and the local papers are loud in their praises of the 
Wilfrid Denver of Mr. E. H. Brooke, who thrilled the audience in that 
noble description of the murderer's dream ; of the Skinner of Mr. R. S. 
Boleyn ; and of the Mrs. Denver of Miss Cissy Grahame, a clever and 
charming little actress, who is distinguishing herself in emotional characters. 
On the principle that "good wine needs no bush," I suppose little more 
need be said about " The Silver King," but provincial audiences have a 
treat in store for them wherever it is produced. It is more than a drama. 
It is a romance of every-day interest, written by men of taste and poetical 

Miss Mary Dickens, clever daughter of a clever father, has not been long 
in securing an engagement. She is now playing the pretty little " maid of 
the inn," in the second act of "The Silver King" at the Princess's 
Theatre, and playing the part remarkably well into the bargain. 

We have no club in London answering precisely to the German 
Athenaeum in Mortimer Street. We get very near to it, but have not quite 
hit upon the " happy thought" of combining that special flavour of culture 
with conversation and fun. Every musician, painter, and dramatist of 
fame is made welcome by his brethren at the German Athenseum, where 
they do more, much more, than talk and smoke. Their concerts and 
conversazione are the most brilliant things of the kind to be found in 
London, and when they have nothing better to do they give scientific and 
literary lectures, and set themes to be illustrated by members learned in the 
fine arts. Thus a given subject such as "A Flood,'' would be rendered in 
painting, in poetry, in music, and in sculpture. However, " dulce est 
desipere in loco," and the other evening after a brilliant concert and a 
series of tableaux arranged by Alma Tadema, R.A., at the St. George's 
Hall, in aid of the German Inundation Fund, the members of the 
Athenaeum invited H.R.H. the Prince of Wales to the cosy club in 
Mortimer Street, together with several distinguished guests, to see a capital 

200 THE THEATRE. [MARCH i, 1883. 

bit of fun on the miniature stage of the club. This turned out to be a most 
amusing parody of the Belt trial, and kept hundreds of clever men in roars 
of laughter. The leading spirit of the parody, and one of the most popular 
members of the club, is Franz Goedecker, one of the very ablest of living 
caricaturists, who astonished the company by modelling a head of Bismarck 
and another of Sir Julius Benedict in five minutes, before the audience and 
without any assistance but his fingers and thumbs. The Judge of Herr 
Max Hecht was another admirable bit of fooling. After the play Mr. 
Goedecker sang a Schnitzel-bank a kind of German " House that Jack 
built," to his own inimitable caricatures. It was an evening long to be 

Mr. A. W. Dubourg, the well-known dramatic author, has done well to 
publish " Four Original Plays" (Richard Bentley & Son, New Burlington 
Street). The student of dramatic literature will be amused and interested ; 
the far-seeing critic will be able to see for himself some of the causes that 
hinder the immediate acceptance of original work, even from a practised 
hand. Mr. A. W. Dubourg is an earnest and cultured writer, who very 
sensibly puts purpose and heart into his work. He feels what he writes, 
and, like most men who feel strongly, he may be inclined to be harsh 
upon mere business men for not feeling his own enthusiasm. It is quite 
true that the public is ready to receive and welcome good and original 
work, and that, so far as recent experience goes, a deaf ear has never been 
turned to any play that has fairly fulfilled the conditions that the stage 
requires. But original authors with heart and enthusiasm go a little too far 
when they believe that the mere fact of originality blinds any audience to 
little errors in judgment that are far more pronounced in representation than 
on paper. The public wants a good play, and does not care one straw from 
what source it is taken. It may be derived from Sanscrit, Spanish, French, 
German, or the Dutch languages. It must please, and not offend. Mr. 
Tennyson or Mr. Browning are no more free from the " scorn of scorn" if an 
audience does not take to their idea, than the humblest dramatist from the 
East-end. In all Mr. Dubourg's plays there are excellent ideas ; they are sen- 
sible, well written, and dramatic ; but it does not at all follow that they could 
be all played as written, or that the practical stage-manager would not ruth- 
lessly condemn some of the favourite ideas of the author. For instance, 
in the very first play, " Green Cloth, a Story of Monte Carlo," I very much 
doubt if any audience would understand Miss Lindsay of Balham, the Dea 
ex mocking who is a kind of clever and comic missionary involved in the 
serious interest, and prone to deliver tracts on the slightest provocation. 
Nor would they exercise their minds in thinking about the subtlety of such 
a character as Mrs. Verney. Audiences are like children they want simple 
food, not involved sketches of character. " Art and Love" is a charming 
little work, that could be acted and appreciated everywhere. Now that 
good plays are read as literature as well as acted on the stage, Mr. 
Dubourg's book will be a valuable addition to the dramatic library. 


April, 1883. 

Wallis Court. 


WALLIS COURT is about five miles from one of the largest 
towns in the north-west of England. It is a fine old 
manorial house, and from the windows of the countless chambers 
the view is so extensive, that although I have lived there for 
twenty years without a break, I always declare that I saw new 
points and effects every time I gazed at it. 

Here I have been ever since I was two years old. My mother 
died the day after I was born, and my father joined her twc^ 
years after, leaving me to the care of my Aunt Wallis, of WalKo 
Court, his only sister. 

My father was a Frenchman of very ancient family ; my mother 
a Miss Wallis, brother and sister having married brother and 
sister. Colonel Wallis had married my aunt when she was but 
seventeen years old, and three months after the wedding had 
disappeared from Europe with an American actress. He was 
never heard of again ; he had made his arrangements about 
Wallis Court, leaving it to Aunt Belle, with two thousand a year, 
giving her power to leave it to whom she liked, with only one 
condition, that it was not to be left to churches, convents, or 
priests : she was a strict Roman Catholic. He was not very mucfo 
of anything, but had been baptized in the Church of England, 
She never knew exactly when he died, and he never knew that 
eight months after he left her she gave birth to a son. She made 
up her mind that this boy should be brought up for and devoted 
to the Church, and with this object always in view, he was sent 
to a Catholic College abroad, as she thought there was less chance 


202 THE THE A TRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

of his getting any heretical ideas in his head if brought up in a 
Catholic country ; and in Belgium he spent his youth. However, 
his father's military instincts came out strongly when he was 
about eighteen, and when he came over to Wallis Court, he asked 
his mother to buy him a commission in the English army. This 
she refused to do. Angry words passed between them : he declared 
that he would be a soldier like his father, grandfather, and all the 
Wallises ; and she, in her wrath, said his father had disgraced 
them. The boy had never before heard her speak a word against 
the man who had so cruelly deserted her, and had always loved 
the handsome looking soldier, whose portrait hung over the prie- 
dieu in her boudoir. 

The next day Maurice left Wallis Court, as he averred, for ever, 
and shortly after enlisted in the French army. Two years after 
I came, and my dear old aunt lavished all her love and affection on 
me. She was a very beautiful woman, as good and kind as 
possible. With her and a governess I passed all my happy child- 
hood. They were both highly accomplished women ; my aunt 
painted well, my governess was a perfect musician, and both were 
good linguists, and they took a pride in trying to make me as 
clever as themselves. We had no visitors but the Fathers who 
used to come over from Westville to do the service in our 
chapel, as Aunt Belle never went out of the grounds. 

Miss Marchmont, my governess, had relations living on the 
other side of the town, and we sometimes drove over to see 
them. Her brother was a wealthy merchant, with an only 
daughter, about my age. Aunt Belle was so afraid that I should 
meet any gentlemen there, and perhaps end by making an unfor- 
tunate marriage like hers, that my visits there were very rare. 
I used to tell her that if she ever intended me to marry, it 
would only be with a Frenchman of ancient lineage, with half a 
dozen long names to match mine, and who would suddenly be 
seen walking up the steps of Wallis Court, hat in hand, to demand 
an alliance with her niece, Mademoiselle Pauline Stephanie 
Angelique Marie Montgivon de Belancourt. 

One evening in December, Miss Marchmont was taken sud- 
denly ill, and alarmingly so. Poor Aunt Belle became flurried. 
She wanted the doctor, one of the Fathers, and Mr. Marchmont 
all at once. Our household consisted of an old coachman, who 
had lived with Aunt Belle ever since her marriage, and was now 

APRIL 2, 1883-] WALLIS COURT. 203 

nearly seventy, and asthmatical, but who always drove us, as we 
never had occasion to go out if the weather were bad. Under 
him was Watson, a young man about twenty-five, who did all 
the hard work, and sometimes drove a small cart, when he had 
to fetch such things as washing or hampers of stores, and some- 
times a dog-cart ; besides Watson, there was a small boy of 
thirteen. Our stud consisted of two handsome, large and lazy 
carriage horses, sleek and sleepy, one that went in the dog-cart 
and was ridden by Watson when he rode out with me, and my 
particular steed. _ 

On the evening of Miss Marchmont's indisposition, old Grant 
was laid up with bronchitis ; Watson had gone to London 
to attend his father's funeral, and the boy was the only 
available Jehu we had. Aunt Belle was in despair. She, and 
our old maid, Parkins, did not dare leave dear Marchmont's side. 
I told her not to worry herself. She knew I was a good horse- 
woman, for she had thought it only right that a Wallis and a 
Montgivon de Belancourt should be a good ecuyere, and I had 
been presented with a pony on my fifth birthday, and a horse 
when I was sixteen. I told her I would drive the dog-cart and 
fetch the doctor first, and bring him back, taking the boy with 
me for propriety. She assented to this arrangement, and I left 
her somewhat comforted. 

The snow had been days on the ground, and the road was 
rather slippery. Martin, the boy, and I went into Bolter's 
stables, and between us we managed to harness the horse, and 
we succeeded in getting him into the dog-cart. He was very 
fresh, not having been out for some days, and somewhat 
frisky. For a couple of miles we went along at a pretty good 
pace. I never took my eyes off Bolter's head and the 
road until we passed a place called Thornton Pool, on which 
hundreds of skaters were disporting themselves. I always 
envied them, and longed to join them ; but such a proceeding 
would have so shocked Aunt Belle that I never even dared 
suggest it, and contented myself with gyrations on our own pond, 
with Martin, Watson, and Grant for an admiring crowd. 

The scene was very picturesque, and I forgot Bolter in order to 
gaze at it. He took a mean advantage of my weakness, and showed 
signs of becoming unmanageable. There was nothing in front of us 
but this long white road, and one solitary figure of a man, some- 

P 2 

204 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

what ahead. As we neared him, I could just see that he had a 
pair of skates slung on his shoulder. Then Bolter became fear- 
fully obstreperous, Martin became alarmed, and the man turned 
round and saw us. He made one plunge at the horse's head 
just in time to prevent a catastrophe. This had not come within 
Bolter's calculation, and he suddenly stood quite still. The stranger 
looked at me and lifted his hat, and then looked at Martin, 
and at the trap and horse, without saying one word. I was gazing 
at him. It then struck me that he had done a very courageous 
thing, and I thanked him for it, and said I thought the horse was 
all right now, and that I had better go on. 

"Will you allow me to accompany you a little way, in case he 
becomes troublesome again ?" asked the stranger. 

I looked at him for a minute without answering. Such an offer 
had never occurred to me. He saw that I hesitated, and said 

" You will be conferring a great kindness on me, for I have an 
important appointment, and fear I am rather late. I hoped I 
should meet some trap coming along, when I perceived yours, and 
meant to ask for a lift." 

After this a refusal was impossible. 

" Very w r ell/' said I, rather ungraciously, and he tried to jump 
up, but Bolter began to be restless again, and this was not so 
easily accomplished. He, the stranger, danced about the road, 
with one foot on the step, and the other in the snow, and I felt 
inclined to give vent to an almost uncontrollable fit of laughter, 
but I thought he might be offended ; and at last, seizing a propi- 
tious moment, I held out my hand to him, instinctively, and he 
landed at last by my side. Martin scrambled up behind again y 
and off we went. Not a word passed between us for some time. 
The horse became very restive again, and seemed determined 
either to run away or tumble down. Quiet driving along the road 
did not seem to fit his present excitable state. 

" I don't think you can manage a brute like that," said my 
companion ; " let me take the reins." 

" He will be all right presently," said I, laconically. 

" No he won't," said he, just as Bolter made another start, and 
without another word he took the reins gently out of my hands. 
" Whip," he added. I handed it to him without a word. " Hold 
on," he then said, and he lashed and thrashed the horse until his 
arm must have ached. Bolter, after recovering from his astonish- 

APRIL 2, 1883.3 WALLIS COURT. 205 

ment, became perfectly quiet, and we drove on silently. " Where 
shall I drive to ?" said my new friend, when we reached the town. 

" I am going for a doctor," said I ; " I can manage him now, 
and I should not like you to miss your appointment through me." 

He took out his watch quickly, gave a sort of gasp, and ex- 
claiming something about being late, he handed me back the 
reins, looked hard at my face, put out his hand, which I mechani- 
cally took, shook hands with me warmly, lifted his hat and dis- 
appeared. I drove on to the doctor's house, and told him that we 
wanted him at the Court immediately to see Miss Marchmont ; 
he said he was ready to go back with me as soon as Bolter had 
rested a bit. 

The journey home was easy enough : Bolter was subdued. I 
told the doctor all I could about Miss Marchmont, and then we 
lapsed into silence. I must own that I was preoccupied all the 
time with thinking of the strange companion I had picked up, and 
I wondered, nay hoped, I should see him again. Dr. Mathews 
remained all night. Miss Marchmont recovered in a few weeks, 
and all went smoothly again as before. I tried the effect of 
asking if I might go once to Thornton Pool, not thinking for one 
moment that my wish would be granted ; and, to my astonishment 
Aunt Belle allowed Miss Marchmont to persuade her to give her 
consent, and to my great delight^Parkins, our antiquated maid, and 
I drove off together, and arranged to walk back. I owned that I 
wished to see my friend again, but if he were on the ice the chances 
were against my seeing him, as it was very full. 

I skated away for some time, feeling very charmed at being 
among a lot of people for the first time in my life, and feeling 
very independent. It was just beginning to get dusk, and many 
skaters had left the ice. I was now better able to skim along at 
a swift pace, and was racing round the edge of the pool when I 
heard a shout behind me, and in a moment a figure had dashed 
up to me, seized me by the hand, and made me whirl round in a 
different direction. We stopped as soon as it was possible, and my 
friend for it was he let go my hand, and lifting his hat, said 

" What a very reckless person you are, to be sure !" 

I was panting and astonished, and could not speak at once. 

" Did you not see," said he, " that you were skating straight 
away on to forbidden ice, and that another moment and you 
would have gone in ?" 

206 THE THE A TRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

This, of course, I had not known ; it shocked me a good deal, 
and I began to tremble, and felt myself turn pale. 

" Come along with me," said my companion, " you must sit 
down now for a little ;" and he led me to a chair near the bank. 
Without saying a word, he knelt down and took off my skates ; 
then he made me get up again, and led me into a tent, 
where he made me drink a cup of hot tea. He asked me if I 
was there alone, and on my telling him that I had my maid with 
me, and that I had left her in a little tent on the other side of 
the pool, he said he would take me to her. 

We started off together, and after about two minutes had 
passed, he took out his watch, and gasped more perceptibly than 
on the first occasion, and saying, " By Jove, I can't," he lifted his 
hat and disappeared. I did not feel hurt at being so suddenly 
abandoned, for he did it in a kind and regretful, though spasmodic, 
way. I found Parkins, but did not say anything about my nearly 
meeting with an icy bath, nor did I mention him. 

The frost lasted nearly another week, and Aunt Belle allowed 
me to go every day. Every afternoon I found my friend on the 
ice ; we skated together, which, I suppose, was very improper. I 
did not know what to do about him at home. I had not the 
courage now to tell Aunt Belle or Miss Marchmont anything on 
the subject, nor could I give up the pleasure it gave me to see 
him now and then. I used to meet him on horseback, quite 
by accident in a way, for we had never arranged to meet. 
Neither Watson nor Martin could ever have made any remark 
about this to any of the other servants, or I should have heard of 
it. He never made love to me, from what I could judge of love- 
making in books I had read ; but I think he loved me, and I 
know I loved him. I knew nothing about him beyond the fact 
that he was very handsome, very amusing, and that his manners 
were charming and always respectful. And so I " lived in 
fantasy," and imagined him to be all sorts of things, but the right 


The spring came, and seemed to gladden me as it had never done 
before. I had only one care to cloud an existence that was to me 
paradise on earth, and that was a feeling of shame and remorse 

APRIL 2, 1883.] WALLIS COURT. 207 

that I had not the courage to tell Aunt Belle or Miss Marchmont 
of my friendship and occasional meetings with " Thornton Pool," 
as I called him after his own suggestion. It seems strange to 
me now, that I never inquired after his real name, but I never 
thought of him as anything in the future. He was to me a present 
enjoyment. When I met him, and we rode together, the air seemed 
lighter, the sun brighter, and life unspeakably beautiful. It never 
occurred to me that some day he might go away and disappear 
for ever. On the days that I did not meet him, I certainly felt a 
curious sensation of nothingness , and my ride seemed a sort of 
failure somehow ; and I would walk my horse home mechani- 
cally, enter by the stable-way, and leave him without the 
usual pat and cuddle ; and I would go up the back stairs to my 
room, telling Parkins, as I passed her, that I should not want 
her. When I had met him, everything seemed so different. 
The air appeared fresher, the sky more blue, and the sun more 

We always parted at the end of a lane which we christened 
" Good-bye Corner," he taking the road that led to town, and I 
the opposite one home ; on those occasions I cantered back con- 
tentedly, riding up to the front door, where I generally found Aunt 
Belle and Miss Marchmont sitting out on a bench. There I 
would sit with them for a little time playing with the dogs and a 
pet parrot, before going in to change my dress, and listen with 
amiable interest to what Father so-and-so had said when he had 
called in the afternoon, and with philanthropic delight on hearing 
that our laundry-maid's whitlow had been lanced and that the 
operation in question would ensure her a better night's rest. 

One afternoon it was the last day in May we were riding 
along the ridge of one of our mountains, when the sky, which had 
hitherto been glowing, became clouded and a heavy darkness seemed 
to envelop us. We stopped our horses and gazed beneath us on the 
valley which stretched below. " Thornton Pool " had not been 
quite himself that day. He was not so talkative, and not at all 

After several minutes', silence he said 

" I am going away to-morrow.'' He took out his watch, and 
studied it for a minute, then replacing it in his waistcoat pocket, 
and pointing with his whip across the valley to a distant point, 
said, " Yonder is Good-bye Corner ; I have a great wish to accom- 

208 THE THE A TRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

pany you there, but it must be done in three-quarters of an hour. 
Can you do it ?" 

I looked on the spot he was pointing to and then at him, and 
said, " Yes," as I turned my horse round. The rain came down 
in large drops, and the whole scene became darkened, as we came 
down the mountain-side without a word. When we got on the 
level, we put our horses at a gallop, and tore along the high road 
under the lowering clouds without a word. We pulled in at the 
bottom of a hill which led up to " Good-bye Corner;" the rain was 
coming down in torrents, and we were soaked through. He took 
out his watch, gave one of his now well-known gasps, and saying 

" I cannot carry out my wish. I cannot go any farther/' He 
held out his hand to me, and adding, after a pause, " Good-bye," 
he raised his hat, turned his horse, and galloped at full speed back 
towards the town. I watched him until he was out of sight, and 
although I did not then realize the situation, I felt a sense of chill 
and coming sorrow, and rode home dejectedly, with the rain beating 
hard enough against my face to wash away the unconscious tears 
that rose up from my heart and gathered to my eyes. I hardly 
knew why. 

The whole summer passed hotly away, and I never saw him 
again. I rode across all the old ground we had galloped over to- 
gether, until the sun and the trees and the birds and the air be- 
came hateful ; and in the autumn I got ill, but no name could be 
given to my ailment. I could not sleep or eat properly, and 
everything ceased to amuse or interest me, although I tried to fight 
against this feeling for the sake of my aunt and governess. At 
last December came, and the doctor having suggested that a little 
change was absolutely necessary, Aunt Belle consented to my 
going to stay with the Marchmonts for a week or a fortnight. I 
was glad of this, for I felt wearied by the very sight of the view I 
had once loved so much, but which now seemed to me irksomely 

The Marchmonts were kindness itself, and the complete change 
from a monastic life to a comparatively gay one did me good. I 
had no time to think. We were continually employed in shopping, 
driving, calling, dinner-parties, and actually a dance ! I saw many 
young men for the first time in my life, but felt so unaccustomed 
to them that I hardly dared answer them when they spoke to me, 
and certainly never ventured to address them ; so I must have made 

APRIL 2, 1883.] 



a most unfavourable impression on them. One afternoon, Mr. 
Marchmont came home rather earlier than usual, joining us at our 
afternoon tea. 

"We must dine a little earlier to-night, Marion," said he, 
addressing his wife ; " I have got a box for the play, and we are 
going to see Moreton Temple, in ' The Lady of Lyons/ 5J 

" Oh ! papa, what a dear you are !" exclaimed Ethel Marchmont, 
enthusiastically. " Think of that, Pauline !" 

But I was not up in theatricals, never having been inside a 
theatre in my life, and Moreton Temple conveyed nothing to my 
mind worth an emotion. I knew perfectly well that Aunt Belle 
would not have consented to my going to a theatre, and so I 

" You must all go, and tell me all about it when you come home." 

Mr. Marchmont looked discouraged. 

<f My dear Pauline," he said, " I shall not go without you. 
There is no harm whatever in your seeing this play, and I will 
take all the blame on my shoulders.'' After a little more hesita- 
tion on my part, I consented. And so we dined rather earlier, 
and drove off to the play. I was certainly pleased that I was 
going, and the crowd of carriages and people in front of the 
theatre looked promising. It was altogether a novelty that pleased 
me not a little. There was an air of pleasure about all the people 
as they came trooping in that seemed to make one feel something 
enjoyable was coming. The band was playing a lovely overture. 
We had a box on the first tier, next the stage. The curtain 
went up, and the play began. I was a little disappointed with 
the beginning, and so I watched the audience, who interested me 
very much by their silent attention ; when all of a sudden their 
quiet demeanour gave way and a burst of simultaneous applause 
caused me to look at the stage again. A man was standing in 
the middle of it, with his head slightly bent in acknowledgment 
of the vociferous applause. His face was deadly pale, but 
not more so than mine when, as he lifted his eyes to our 
box, and our eyes met, I recognized " Thornton Pool." It was 
all so sudden and so extraordinary to me, that I could hardly 
realize it ; I felt the whole place swim round, but I never moved. 
The people were still applauding, he was still bowing, and no one 
could possibly see or know what I felt ; this comforted me so that 
my emotion passed unnoticed by my companions. 

210 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

The play went on ; all through Claude Melnotte's passionate 
love-making my mind, eyes, and heart were riveted in a way I 
can hardly express. I felt that his voice was addressing me, 
although he never looked up again until just before the curtain 
fell on the last act, and our eyes met again. The curtain went up 
twice : he came forward to answer the call made for him, and as 
it went down the last time, and shut him out, as I thought, from my 
view and my life, I felt I loved him above all things in this world. 

I drove home in a daze. They all praised Moreton Temple, who, 
I discovered, had made a sensation in London some five years 
ago, and was the most popular actor of the day. They gave him 
a wife and a few children, from hearsay ; they quarrelled about his 
exact nationality and parentage, while I was silently listening in 
the corner of the carriage, and accounting to myself now for his 
jerky disappearances in our past rides. As seven o'clock drew 
near he was due at the theatre. We had frequently talked about 
theatres, and I had told him of Aunt Belle's horror of them, and 
had hinted that the sorrow of her life had been caused by a 
person connected with the stage. I now felt that all these 
conversations would come back to him, and that we should never 
meet again. I rode over our favourite haunts in the hope of 
seeing him, but unsuccessfully. Was it really true that he was 
married ? Why should he not be ? He had never made love to me. 
Somehow, I know not why, I felt that he had no tie of that kind. 
He did not remain very long in Westville, but went back to 
London, where I followed him in imagination, and read all about 
him in the papers. 

Some months passed wearily away, when this time it was Aunt 
Belle who was taken seriously ill. The doctors did not give us 
any hope of her being able to recover, although she did not 
appear to be so bad as they stated her to be. Her mind seemed 
very uneasy, and she gave me the idea of wanting to say some- 
thing, but was continually checking herself. I was very miserable 
at the possibility of losing her, and more so that I had hidden 
anything from her. Should I tell her ? Tell her what ? That 
I had picked up a chance acquaintance, had fallen in love with 
him, and that he was an actor ? No. I felt I could not. It 
sounded so bad, and yet it was so simple ; but it would make her 
last moments wretched, and I would give all in my power to let 
her pass away happily, as far as it was in my power to do so, in 

APRIL 2, 1883.] WALLIS COURT. 211 

return for her life of devotion to me. So I kept my secret, and 
tried but how vainly ! to forget him for her. 

Weeks passed away without any visible change taking place in 
Aunt Belle's condition, and the doctor said that though the 
end was not far off, she might linger on for some months. 
Miss Marchmont was going to be married, and had wished 
me very much to be her bridesmaid. I had told her that I was 
afraid of leaving Aunt Belle for a day even, in case anything 
should happen while I was away, and I had quite settled in my 
mind that I would not leave her ; when, to my eurprise, she her- 
self wished me very much to go, and pressed me to remain there 
a few days. As I never argued any point with her for fear of 
wearying her, I accepted the invitation, but reluctantly, and 
feeling altogether too much out of spirits to be a guest at any 
festivity. Aunt Belle was evidently getting fidgety about my 
departure, and made me feel, though without expressing it, that it 
would be a relief to her to know I had started. I fancied that 
she thought the change would do me good, and that in her usual 
unselfish way she was afraid something might occur to prevent 
me from having what she considered some amusement ; so 
bidding her an affectionate farewell, and saying I should not be 
away more than three days, I departed, with a sad and heavy 
heart. I arrived at the Marchmonts the day before the wedding, 
and found them all very merry and very busy. 

The next morning we were all up early, a flood of sunshine 
awaking us betimes. There was not a hitch of any sort in any 
of the arrangements of this genial household, but I had received 
a letter from Aunt Belle which nearly broke my heart, though I 
had to hide my feelings so as not to jar on the festivities around me, 
It must have been written very hurriedly, and ran as follows : 

" MY DARLING CHILD, I wished you to go away for a little 
time, that I might write what I dared not tell you ; and I must 
do so as briefly as possible, as I feel I cannot last very long now. 
I thought it right to let my son know I was dying, and felt I 
would like to see him once again. I got my lawyer to find out 
where he was, to write to him and tell him of my wish to see 
him ; also to acquaint him with the fact that I could not now 
alter my will, as I had made it in your favour and could not now 
retract. I soon received an answer from him, as follows : 

2 1 2 THE THE A TRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

" l MY DEAREST MOTHER, I am very glad that you have at 
last recalled me, and am very grieved that you are so ill that I 
may not have the hope of seeing as much of you as my heart 
desires. My life has been a hard struggle for many years, but 
now at last I can manage to live without the patrimony and 
fortune I was entitled to. I do not grieve at your having left it 
to my cousin, but if you will consent to my marrying her, and 
I can win her love, I shall have nothing to regret but the years I 
have been estranged from you. I shall be at Wallis Court on the 
1 7th of July. 

" ' Your affectionate son, 


" For months, my darling, I have been worrying myself about 
you and him. I felt, as my end was approaching, that I had not 
behaved well to him, and I knew I could not restore what was his 
by right, without altering the will I had made in your favour. 
When his letter came, a new hope dawned for me, and I grasped 
it with a gratitude I cannot express. By marrying you, Maurice 
would regain his own property without depriving you of it. This 
thought has given me new life, or rather has softened the pangs 
of death. You, my darling, have never loved any one before, and 
cannot fail to love my handsome son. I wrote back and told him 
that his marriage with you would gladden my last moments. 
Oh ! Pauline, come back after the wedding, and let me join your 
hands and his before I die. This unexpected emotion is killing me 
fast, although it makes me so supremely happy. To-morrow 
evening I will send Mat with the horses, that you may come 
back quickly. God bless you, my child my daughter. 

" Your loving aunt, 


I was perfectly dismayed at the contents of this letter. What 
could I do ? Refuse Aunt Belle's dying wish, after her devotion 
to me, or marry a man I had never seen, and could never love ? 
I don't know how I put on my bridesmaid's dress. I felt in a 
dream a nightmare. As we drove to church I resolved in my 
mind to accept him for Aunt Belle's sake, and then when my poor 
dear aunt was laid in her grave, I would tell him I loved another 
man, and could not marry him, but would return him all his pro- 
perty. I had not time to consider whether this was wrong or 

APRIL 2, 1883.] WALLIS COURT. 213 

not, for I sat next a chatty groomsman, and had to try and talk 
while my thoughts were elsewhere. 

The ceremony took place, the sun shining on the happiest 
couple I have ever seen. As I thought of my own position, I 
thought I should have broken down ; but there was one thing I 
always could do suffer, and make no sign. The wedding break- 
fast was like all others, I suppose, and would have delighted me 
as a novelty, had my mind been at peace. The bride changed 
her dress, and left in the summer afternoon, looking the picture of 
happiness. I had not said a word to her about having to leave 
directly she was gone. I had behaved just like the other brides- 
maids, and had not shrieked, as I felt inclined to, when I over- 
heard my groomsman tell my neighbour that he had seen the 
celebrated actor, Moreton Temple, in Westville the previous 
evening. As he was not acting there now, I thought he must be 
mistaken ; but I said nothing. When the bride had departed, I 
told Mrs. Marchmont that I had had a letter from Aunt Belle in 
the morning, saying I must return at once as she was feeling 
worse. At seven o'clock the horses came, brought by our new 
groom, Watson having left us to get married. The man had a 
note for me, which I hurriedly opened. It was from Maurice, 
and ran as follows : 

" MY DEAR COUSIN, My meeting with my mother seems to 
have been almost more than she could bear, and I am afraid it is 
now a question of hours. I tell you this to prepare you, as I 
do not think, from what others tell me, her end was supposed to 
be so near. Yours faithfully, 


I got into my habit as quickly as possible, and my only 
thought was to get to her and bid her good-bye, although as I 
tore along the road on that hot summer evening the thought 
flashed across me that, if I arrived too late, I should be spared a 
promise I could not keep. I would have sacrificed anything to 
be able to kiss my dear good aunt before she died. It was 
getting dark when I reached Wallis Court. I jumped off my 
horse and ran lightly upstairs to her bedroom. Parkins was 
waiting outside, crying bitterly. 

" She is not " was all I could utter. 

" No, Miss, but she cannot last the night." 

214 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

I gently turned the handle of the door, and went softly in. 
Miss Marchmont and a man were standing on the other side of the 
bed. I could not see much, for the sun had just gone down, and 
my eyes were full of tears as I bent over Aunt Belle and put my 
arms round her and kissed her. She was very feeble, but had 
riot lost consciousness. 

" I knew you would come, darling, and I know you will consent 
to what I asked .... you .... in .... letter ..... 
Maurice, give me your hand .... from Pauline .... my 
darling children .... you have made me very . ; . . happy. 
God bless you. ; ' 

With my head buried on her shoulder and my hand firmly 
grasped by my cousin, I felt my poor dear aunt pass away. We 
did not move for some time. The doctor came softly in, and 
looked at her. " It is all over, Wallis ; take your cousin away." 

It was almost dark now ; my cousin came round to my side, 
and taking me gently but firmly in his arms, carried me to the 
open window in Aunt Belle's dressing-room, then wiping my face 
with his handkerchief he murmured softly 

" My love, my wife !'' and as I looked up at him, I saw I was 
in the arms of Moreton Temple ! 

Mrs. Kendal. 

MRS. W. H. KENDAL (Miss Madge Robertson) was born 
at Great Grimsby, on March 15, 1848, and was brought 
up to the stage from early childhood. When only four years old 
(1852) she appeared at the Marylebone Theatre as the Blind 
Child in "The Seven Poor Travellers." In 1855 she played Eva 
in a dramatic version of " Uncle Tom's Cabin " at Bristol. Mrs. 
Kendal passed her early life in the provinces, principally at the 
Theatres Royal Bristol and Bath, under the management of the 
late Mr. J. H. Chute. She made her first professional appearance 
in London on Saturday, July 29, 1865, at the Haymarket 
Theatre, as Ophelia to the Hamlet of the late Walter Mont- 
gomery. On August 21, of the same year and at the same 
theatre, she played Desdemona, Othello being represented by Ira 
Aldridge. Miss Robertson then fulfilled engagements at Netting- 


1 A woman ! a wretched woman ! ' 


APRIL 2, 1883.] MRS. KEN DAL. 215 

ham and Hull. Returning to London, she acted Edith in the 
first performance of Andrew Halliday's drama, " The Great City," 
at Drury Lane, on Easter Monday, 1867. On March 14 of the 
following year, she acted Blanche Dumont in Dr.Westland Marston's 
play, " A Hero of Romance," then first performed at the Hay- 
market Theatre. In July, at the same theatre, she sustained the 
character of Hypolita in Colley Gibber's comedy, " She Would 
and She Would Not." On Monday, December 21, 1868, at the 
opening of the Gaiety Theatre, she appeared in " On the Cards." 
In March, 1869, also at the Gaiety Theatre, she played Lady 
Clara Vere de Vere in " Dreams." At the Haymarket Theatre, 
on October 25 of the same year, she represented Lilian Vavasour 
in the first performance of Messrs. Tom Taylor and A. W. 
Dubourg's comedy, " New Men and Old Acres." In a revival 
of "The Rivals," at the same theatre, on October 24, 1870, 
she played Lydia Languish ; and on November 19 of the same 
year, also at the Haymarket Theatre, she acted Princess Zeolide 
in the first performance of Mr. W. S. Gilbert's play, " The Palace 
of Truth." She also acted the following parts in the same 
author's plays at the Haymarket Theatre : Galatea, in " Pygma- 
lion and Galatea," on December 9, 1871 ; Selene, in "The 
Wicked World," on January 4, 1873 ; and Mrs. Van Brugh, in 
" Charity," on January 3, 1874. On January 18, 1875, Miss 
Robertson commenced a short engagement at the Opera Comique, 
where she acted Pauline in " The Lady of Lyons," Rosalind in 
" As You Like It," and Miss Hardcastle in " She Stoops to Con- 
quer." In March, 1875, she joined the company of Mr. Hare, at 
the Court Theatre, and during the season she played there in 
" Lady Flora," " Broken Hearts," " A Nine Days' Wonder," " A 
Scrap of Paper," " Uncle's Will," and other pieces. Now married 
to Mr. W. H. Kendal, this distinguished actress went to the 
Prince of Wales 's Theatre, where she made her greatest success 
as Dora, in " Diplomacy," the English version of M. Sardou's 
"Dora," performed for the first time on January 12, 1878. On 
January 4, 1879, Mr. and Mrs. Kendal opened, at the Court 
Theatre, in " A Scrap of Paper," Mrs. Kendal resuming her part 
of Susan Hartley. On February 1 5 she played the Countess 
d'Autreval in a revival of " The Ladies' Battle ;" and on April 
19, Kate Greville in "The Queen's Shilling." At the St. 
James's Theatre, under the management of Mr. Kendal and Mr. 

216 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

Hare, Mrs. Kendal acted the Lady Giovanni in " The Falcon," 
on December 1 8, 1879; and Mrs. Sternhold, in the revival of 
"Still Waters Run Deep," on March 13, 1881. On October 9 
of the same year, she played Susan, in the first performance 
of Mr. W. G. Wills' drama, entitled " William and Susan." On 
December 4 she acted Isabel, in " Good Fortune." On January 8, 
1 88 1, she played Millicent Boycott, in " The Money-Spinner." 
On October 27 following, the date of the re-opening of the St. 
James's Theatre for the season, Mrs. Kendal undertook the 
character of Mrs. Pinchbeck, in " Home ;" and played Mrs. 
Preston, in "The Cape Mail." On December 29, 1881, she acted 
Kate Verity, in "The Squire ;" and on December 9, 1882, she 
impersonated Mrs. Beresford in " Impulse," a play that is likely 
to rival even " Diplomacy" in public favour. Mrs. Kendal is 
emphatically the first of the English-speaking and home-loving 
artists of the age in which she was born. Her art, with all its 
vigour, with all its tenderness, with all its tears, and with all its 
humour, is emblematic of her time. No living actress has done 
more by means of her art to teach men to be true and women 
to be tender. 


"Am not I your Rosalind ?" As You Like It, act iv. sc. I. 

TT7OOLISH Orlando ! not to feel her nigh 

r Whose very step the winking daisies know, 

They murmur " Rosalind" with every sigh 

That stirs their petals when the breezes blow, 

Each bird that in the leafy forest flies 

Sings of the glory burning in her eyes 

While thou, dull-pated youth and drowsy lover, 

Wanderest the wood, unconscious of thy joy, 

And lackest eyes within thee to discover 

(As birds and flowers have done) the seeming boy. 

What ! canst not spy beneath the shepherd's vest 

The bounteous wave of Rosalind's fair breast ? 

As boy she kiss'd thee ! by that touch divine 

Wert still in doubt with her sweet lips on thine ? 



The individual who modelled you 
Was a beginner, very probably ? ' 



William Schwenck Gilbert. 


I HAVE been asked by the editor of this Magazine to give an 
account of myself. I was born on the 1 8th of November, 1836, 
at 17, Southampton Street, Strand. I was educated privately at 
Great Ealing and at King's College, intending to finish up at 
Oxford. But in 1855, when I was nineteen years old, the Crimean 
war was at its height, and commissions in the Royal Artillery were 
thrown open to competitive examination. So I gave up all idea 
of Oxford, took my B.A. degree at the University of London, and 
read for the examination for direct commissions, which was to be 
held at Christmas, 1856. The limit of age was twenty, and as at 
the date of examination I should have been six w r eeks over that age 
I applied for and obtained from Lord Panmure, the then Secretary 
of State for War, a dispensation for this excess, and worked away 
with a will. But the war came to a rather abrupt and unex- 
pected end, and no more officers being required, the examination 
was indefinitely postponed. Among the blessings of peace may 
be reckoned certain comedies, operas, farces, and extravaganzas 
which, if the war had lasted another six weeks, would in all pro- 
bability never have been written. I had no taste for a line regi- 
ment, so I obtained, by competitive examination, an assistant 
clerkship in. the Education Department of the Privy Council Office, 
in which ill-organized and ill-governed office I spent four uncomfort- 
able years. Coming unexpectedly into possession of a capital 
sum of 300, I resolved to emancipate myself from the detest- 
able thraldom of this baleful office ; and on the happiest day of 
my life I sent in my resignation. With^ioo I paid my call 
to the Bar (I had previously entered myself as a student at 
the Inner Temple), with another i oo I obtained access to a con- 
veyancer's chambers ; and with the third i oo I furnished a set of 
chambers of my own, and began life afresh as a barrister-at-law. 
In the meantime I had made my appearance in print. My very first 
plunge took place in 1 8 5 8, 1 think, in connection with the late Alfred 
Mellon's Promenade Concerts. Madame Parepa-Rosa (at that time 
Mdlle. Parepa), whom I had known from babyhood, had made a 
singular success at those concerts with the laughing-song from 

218 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

" Manon Lescaut," and she asked me to do a translation of the 
song for Alfred Mellon's play-bill. I did it : it was duly printed 
in the bill. I remember that I went night after night to those 
concerts to enjoy the intense gratification of standing at the 
elbow of any promenader who might be reading my translation, 
and wondering to myself what that promenader would say if he 
knew that the gifted creature who had written the very words he 
was reading was at that moment standing within a yard of him ? 
The secret satisfaction of knowing that I possessed the power to 
thrill him with this information was enough, and I preserved my 

In 1 86 1 Fun was started, under the editorship of Mr. H. J. 
Byron. With much labour I turned out an article three-quarters 
of a column long, and sent it to the editor, together with a half-page 
drawing on wood. A day or two later the printer of the paper 
called upon me, with Mr. Byron's compliments, and staggered me 
with a request to contribute a column of " copy" and a half- 
page drawing every week for the term of my natural life. I 
hardly knew how to treat the offer, for it seemed to me that into 
that short article I had poured all I knew. I was empty. I had 
exhausted myself : I didn't know any more. However, the printer 
encouraged me (with Mr. Byron's compliments), and I said I would 
try. I did try, and I found to my surprise that there ivas a little 
left, and enough indeed to enable me to contribute some hundreds 
of columns to the periodical throughout his editorship, and that of 
his successor, poor Tom Hood ! And here I may mention, for 
the information and encouragement of disheartened beginners, that 
I never remembered having completed any drama, comedy, or oper- 
atic libretto, without feeling that into that drama, comedy, or 
operatic libretto, I had poured all that I had, and that there was 
nothing left. This is a bogey which invariably haunts me, and 
probably others of my kind, on the completion of every work 
involving a sustained effort. At first it used to scare me ; but I 
have long learnt to recognize it as a mere bogey, and to treat it 
with the contempt it deserves. 

From time to time I contributed to other magazines, including 
the Cornhill, London Society, Tinsleys, Temple Bar, and Punch. I 
furnished London correspondence to the Invalide Russe, and I 
became the dramatic critic to the now defunct Illustrated Times. I 
also joined the Northern Circuit, and duly attended the London and 


Westminster Courts, the Old Bailey, the Manchester and Liver- 
pool Assizes, and Liverpool Sessions and Passage Court. But by 
this time I was making a very decent income by my contributions 
to current literature, whereas at the Bar I had only earned 75 
in two years. So I stuck to literature, and the Bar went by 
the board. I was always a clumsy and inefficient speaker, 
and, moreover, an unconquerable nervousness prevented me 
from doing justice to myself or my half-dozen unfortunate 

Of the many good and staunch friends I made on my intro- 
duction into journalism, one of the best and staunchest was poor 
Tom Robertson, and it is entirely to him that I owe my intro- 
duction to stage work. He had been asked by Miss Herbert, 
the then lessee of St. James's Theatre, if he knew any one who 
could write a Christmas piece in a fortnight. Robertson, who 
had often expressed to me his belief that I should succeed as a 
writer for the stage, advised Miss Herbert to entrust me with the 
work, and the introduction resulted in my first piece, a burlesque 
on " L'Elisir d'Amore," called " Dulcamara ; or, the Little Duck 
and the Great Quack." The piece, written in ten days and re- 
hearsed in a week, met with more success than it deserved, 
owing, mainly, to the late Mr. Frank Matthews' excellent imper- 
sonation of the title-r le. In the hurry of production there had 
been no time to discuss terms, but after it had been successfully 
launched, Mr. Emden (Miss Herbert's acting manager) asked 
me how much I wanted for the piece. I modestly hoped that, 
as the piece was a success, 30 would not be considered an ex- 
cessive price for the London right. Mr. Emden looked rather 
surprised, and, as I thought, disappointed. However, he wrote 
the cheque, asked for a receipt, and when he had got it, said, 
" Now take a bit of advice from an old stager who knows what 
he is talking about: never sell so good a piece as this for 30 
again." And I never have. 

My first piece gave me no sort of anxiety. I had nothing in 
the matter of dramatic reputation to lose, and I entered my box 
on the first night of " Dulcamara" with a cceur leger. It never 
entered my mind that the piece would fail, and I even had the 
audacity to pre-invite a dozen friends to supper after the perform- 
ance. The piece succeeded (as it happened), and the supper 
party finished the evening appropriately enough, but I have since 


220 THE THE A TRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

learnt something about the risks inseparable from every " first 
night," and I would as soon invite friends to supper after a forth- 
coming amputation at the hip-joint. 

Once fairly afloat on the dramatic stream, I managed to keep 
my head above water. " Dulcamara" was followed by a bur- 
lesque on " La Figlia del Reggimento," called " La Vivandiere," 
which was produced at what was then the Queen's Theatre, in 
Long Acre, and excellently played by Mr. J. L. Toole, Mr. 
Lionel Brough, Miss Hodson, Miss M. Simpson, Miss Everard 
(the original Little Buttercup of " H.M.S. Pinafore"), and Miss 
Fanny Addison. The "Vivandiere" ran for 120 nights, and 
was followed at the Royalty Theatre by the " Merry Zingara," a 
burlesque on the " Bohemian Girl," in which Miss M. Oliver, Miss 
Charlotte Saunders, and Mr. F. Dewar appeared. This also ran 
1 20 rights, but it suffered from comparison with Mr. F. C. Bur- 
nand's " Black-Eyed Susan," which it immediately followed, and 
which had achieved the most remarkable success recorded in the 
annals of burlesque. 

Then came the opening of the Gaiety Theatre, for which occa- 
sion I wrote " Robert the Devil," a burlesque on the opera of that 
name, and in which Miss Farren appeared. This was followed 
by my first comedy, " An Old Score," which, however, made no 
great mark. But there was a circumstance connected with its 
production which may serve as a hint to unacted authors. As 
soon as I had written the piece I had it set up in type a pro- 
ceeding that cost me exactly five guineas. I sent a copy of it to 
Mr. Hollingshead, and within one hour of receiving it he had 
read and accepted it. He subsequently informed me that he 
read it at once because it was printed. Verb, sap. 

I wrote several " entertainments" for Mr. German Reed, includ- 
ing " No Cards," " Ages Ago" (in collaboration with Mr. F. Clay), 
"Our Highland Home," " Happy Arcadia," "A Sensation Novel," 
and " Eyes and No Eyes" pieces which have at least this claim 
upon the gratitude of playgoers, that they served to introduce 
to the stage Mr. Arthur Cecil, Mr. Corney Grain, Miss Leonora 
Braham, and Miss Fanny Holland all of whom made their debut 
in one or other of these little pieces. 

I had for some time determined to try the experiment of a 
folank verse burlesque in which a picturesque story should be told 
in a strain of mock-heroic seriousness ; and through the enterprise 
of the late Mrs. Liston (then manageress of the Olympic) I was 


afforded an opportunity of doing so. The story of Mr. Ten- 
nyson's " Princess" supplied the subject-matter of the parody, and 
I endeavoured so to treat it as to absolve myself from a charge of 
wilful irreverence. The piece was produced with signal success, 
owing in no small degree to the admirable earnestness with which 
MissM. Reinhardt invested the character of the heroine. Her address 
to the " girl graduates" remains in my mind as a rare example of 
faultless declamation. It was unfortunately necessary to cast 
three ladies for the parts of the three principal youths, and the 
fact that three ladies were dressed as gentlemen disguised as 
ladies, imparted an epicene character to their proceedings 
which rather interfered with the interest of the story. The suc- 
cess of the piece, however, was unquestionable, and it led to a 
somewhat more ambitious flight in the same direction. 

Immediately after the production of the " Princess" I was com- 
missioned by the late Mr. Buckstone to write a blank verse fairy 
comedy on the story of " Le Palais de la Verite," a subject which 
had been suggested to me by Mr. Palgrave Simpson. The piece 
was produced at the Haymarket Theatre with an admirable cast, 
which included Mr. Buckstone, Mr. Everill, Mrs. Kendal, Miss 
Caroline Hill, and Miss Fanny Gwynne, and it ran about 150 
nights. A day or two before the production of the piece I was 
surprised to receive a packet containing twenty-four dress circle 
seats, twenty-four upper-box seats, twenty-four pit seats, and 
twenty-four gallery seats, for the first night. On inquiry I discovered 
that by immemorial Haymarket custom these ninety-six seats 
were the author's nightly perquisites during the entire run of a 
three-act play. I assured Mr. Buckstone that I had no desire 
to press my right to this privilege, which seems to be a survival 
of the old days when authors were paid in part by tickets of 
admission. I believe that the Haymarket was the only theatre 
in which the custom existed. Under Mr. Buckstone's con- 
servative management very old fashions lingered on long after 
they had been abolished at other theatres. I can remember the 
time (about thirty- eight years since, I think) when it was still 
lighted by wax candles. The manager of the Haymarket, in 
Court dress, and carrying two wax candles, ushered Royalty into 
its box long after other managers had left this function to their 
deputy, and the old practice of announcing that a new play 
" would be repeated every night until further notice" survived 
until the very close of Mr. Buckstone's management. 

222 THE THE A TRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

" Pygmalion and Galatea" followed the " Palace of Truth," and 
achieved a remarkable success, owing mainly to Mrs. Kendal's 
admirable impersonation of Galatea. Mr. Buckstone, Mr. Howe, 
Miss Caroline Hill, and Mrs. Chippendale were the other note- 
worthy members of the cast. This was followed by " The Wicked 
World," a fairy comedy in three acts, and " Charity," a modern 
comedy in four acts, which achieved but an indifferent success in 
London, although it was played with much credit in the country, 
under Mr. Wilson Barrett's management. 

In the meantime the Court Theatre had been built and opened 
by Miss Marie Litton. I was commissioned to write the open- 
ing comedy, " Randall's Thumb," and its successor, " On Guard." 
This was followed by a parody on " The Wicked World," called 
"The Happy Land," with which I had some concern, although 
it was mainly written by Mr. Gilbert a Beckett. The origin of 
this piece, which attracted extraordinary attention owing to cer- 
tain impersonations of three leading statesmen impersonations 
which were subsequently forbidden by the Lord Chamberlain 
was as follows : Mrs. Bancroft (at that time lessee of the Prince 
of Wales's Theatre) had arranged to give a private performance 
to her personal friends, and she asked me to write a wild bur- 
lesque for the occasion. I constructed a political parody on my 
own piece, " The Wicked World," and incidentally I told the plot 
to Miss Litton, who expressed a great desire to produce the piece 
at the Court Theatre, but that was out of the question, as the 
burlesque was intended for Mrs. Bancroft's private performance. 
That performance, however, was postponed indefinitely, owing to 
a domestic affliction, and I then told Miss Litton that the subject 
of the piece was at her service. Miss Litton gave the plot to 
Mr. Gilbert a Beckett, who completed it, with some slight assistance 
from me. 

This was followed by an adaptation of " Great Expectations," 
which achieved no success worth mentioning. It afforded, how- 
ever, a curious example of the manner in which the Censorship of 
those days dealt with plays submitted to it for license. It seems 
that it was the custom of the then Licenser of Plays to look through 
the MS. of a new piece, and strike out all irreverent words, substi- 
tuting for them words of an inoffensive character. In " Great 
Expectations," Magwitch, the returned convict, had to say to Pip, 
" Here you are, in chambers fit for a Lord." The MS. was 


returned to the theatre with the word " Lord" struck out, and 
" Heaven" substituted, in pencil ! 

Soon after the production of " Pygmalion and Galatea" I wrote 
the first of many libretti, in collaboration with Mr. Arthur Sullivan. 
This was called " Thespis ; or, the Gods Grown Old." It was put 
together in less than three weeks, and was produced at the Gaiety 
Theatre after a week's rehearsal. It ran eighty nights, but it was 
a crude and ineffective work, as might be expected, taking into 
consideration the circumstances of its rapid composition. Our 
next operetta was " Trial by Jury/' which was produced at the 
Royalty Theatre, under Miss Dolaro's management, with surprising 
success, due in no slight degree to poor Fred Sullivan's admirable 
performance of " the Learned Judge." The success of this piece 
induced Mr. D'Oyly Carte (at that time the managing director of 
a newly formed " Comedy Opera Company") to commission us to 
write a two-act opera for the Opera Comique. " The Sorcerer " 
was the result of this commission, and it deserves to live in the 
memor}' of theatre-goers on account of its having introduced Mr. 
George Grossmith and Mr. Rutland Barrington to the professional 
stage. " The Sorcerer" ran for six months, and was followed by 
" H.M.S. Pinafore," which ran for two years. To this succeeded 
the " Pirates of Penzance," which ran for a year, and this in turn 
was followed by " Patience." The success of these pieces induced 
Mr. D'Oyly Carte to build the Savoy Theatre expressly for 
them. " Patience" was transferred to the Savoy after having run 
for six months at the Opera Comique. It derived new life from 
its new home, and ran, in all, nineteen months. It is, perhaps, 
unnecessary to add that its successor, " lolanthe," is still drawing 
excellent houses. A new opera is on the stocks, and will probably 
be produced in October. 

I have omitted to record, in their proper places, " Dan'l Druce," 
and "Engaged," produced at the Haymarket, under Mr. J. S. 
Clarke's management, and in which Miss Marion Terry made a 
signal success ; " Sweethearts," a two-act comedy produced at the 
Prince of Wales's under Mrs. Bancroft's management ; " Broken 
Hearts," a three-act play in blank verse, in which Miss Bessie 
Hollingshead particularly distinguished herself, produced at the 
Court Theatre, under the management of Mr. Hare ; " Tom Cobb," 
a three-act farcical comedy, produced at the St. James's Theatre, 
under Miss Litton's management ; " Gretchen," a four-act blank 

224 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

verse play, produced at the Olympic by Mr. Neville ; " The Ne'er 
do Weel," an absolute failure at the Olympic ; " Foggerty's Fairy,'* 
another failure at the Criterion. I have translated three farces or 
farcical comedies from the French, and I have adapted two English 
works, namely, " Great Expectations," and " Ought We to Visit 
Her?'' With these exceptions all the plays I have written are 
original. W. S. GILBERT. 

Plays in Paris. 

*\ ~/f 7ITH seven new productions awaiting mention at my hands 
* * I need scarcely remind you that I have no space for pre- 
liminary remarks. Of one thing your readers may be certain that 
I shall not be betrayed into extravagant praise because the Parisian 
critics have been unanimous in pronouncing a work faultless, and 
that I shall not indulge in indiscriminate censure because they have 
judged the work to be devoid of any merit whatsoever. These few 
words are absolutely necessary, because the journalist supposed to 
have the ear of the English public, and, above all, that of the English 
managers, is, in the opinion of French playwrights, a personage 
worth consideration nowadays. This, however, does not lessen 
their contempt for our artistic perception, or, rather, for our entire 
want of it ; but they are willing to overlook our bad and narrow- 
minded taste for the sake of our good English gold, and our 
liberal-handed way of parting with it for their manuscripts. 

To this constant eyeing of the main chance may perhaps be 
ascribed the recent mania of selecting English subjects, and especi- 
ally historical ones, for scenic and dramatic illustration. " Rotten 
Row," given a few months ago at the Odeon, and " Le Nouveau 
Monde," which had a short run at the Theatre des Nations, may 
be considered as so many attempts to "fetch the British or 
American impressario." The failure of these attempts may be re- 
garded as a matter of congratulation to the said impressario. You 
have a dozen playwrights who could do as well, you have at least 
half a dozen who could do better. 

I offer my sincere apologies to the former twelve, whom it would 
be libelling to suspect of their being able to commit similar gross 
absurdities in the name of English or other history, or being capable 
of portraying the social aspects of their own or other nations 

APRIL a , .883.] PLA YS IN PARIS. 225 

under such absurd disguises. Where historical ignorance is the 
blissful lot of most of your contemporaries, it is presumptuous 
folly to endeavour to be wiser than they are. This must have been 
the principle upon which MM. Detroyat and Silvestre composed 
the libretto to M. Saint Saens' opera of " Henry VIII." (produced 
on the 5th of March) ; for on no other theory can I explain the 
tissue of anachronisms and almost voluntary blunders of which 
they have been guilty both blunders and anachronisms passing 
unchallenged by the critics, great and small, of the Paris press, 
with the exception of one, M. Auguste Vitu of the Figaro, who, by 
his supposed rectification, showed himself even more at sea than 
the librettists. 

Fortunately for M. Saint Saens, and the public also, his masterly 
score compensates for every shortcoming on the part of his authors. 
From a nobler motive than that of the miners around Alcester, 
who drowned the voice of Bishop Ecgwine, of Worcester, preaching 
to them, amidst the din of their hammers, the composer has drowned 
the voices of MM. Detroyat and Silvestre, taking the name of 
Shakespeare in vain with his magnificent melodies and majestic 
orchestration. Thanks to the music allotted to them, the three 
crude figures of Henry, Catherine, and Anne, as sketched by the 
playwrights, have been transformed into as many dramatic, nay, 
even poetical, characters, even as the three Fair Women of German 
mythology became transformed into an emblem of the Trinity 
through the fancy of the seventh-century prelate. 

Seeing what M. Saint Saens has done with a poem whose only 
redeeming qualities are three dramatic situations, not unskilfully 
contrived, but entirely at variance with history, it is not difficult to 
guess what he could have done with libretti such as Carre and 
Barbier's " Mignon," Scribe's " Hugenots," or du Ponte's " Don 
Juan." As it is, wherever and whenever there was a chance 
given to him, M. Saint Saens has fully risen to it, save in one 
instance, which I shall mention by-and-by. 

At the rise of the curtain Anne Boleyn is about to be introduced 
to Queen Katherine, whose lady of honour she is to be. This we 
learn from a conversation between the Duke of Norfolk and the 
new Spanish ambassador, Don Gomez de Feria, who has been 
especially selected for the post that he may wed the daughter of 
the future Lord Rochford. Of course Charles V., by whom Gomez 
is sent, could have never known of Norfolk's plotting to bring 

226 THE THE A TRE. [APRIL 2, iSS 3 . 

about the very marriage which Gomez has come to prevent, so the 
latter freely unbosoms himself in a cantabile, " La beaute que je sers 
est telle," of charming simplicity, the second couplet being taken up 
in barcarolle measure by Norfolk. 

Almost immediately after we learn that Buckingham has been 
condemned to death, and this naturally leads us to look for 
Wolsey, but there is not a shadow of the great cardinal to be seen, 
nor the least allusion to his name throughout the piece. On the 
other hand, the first hint of the king's intention to divorce Kathe- 
rine is revealed in the presence of the whole Court, though in Spain 
it must have been known already ; witness whereof the embassy of 
Gomez to avert the calamity, by marrying the designing Anne 
herself, who as yet has not been introduced to the Queen. 

Ex uno disce omncs. I have a more pleasant task than following 
step by step this farrago of rubbish namely, the singling out a 
few detached numbers in the score which, ere long, will have made 
the tour of the world. 

Let me tell you, though, that by doing so I commit an injustice 
towards M. Saint Saens, who claims and rightly to have written 
an opera in the highest meaning of the term, a work pervaded 
throughout by one leading idea. My limited space must be the 
sole excuse. 

In addition to the cantabile, already the first act contains a 
delicious larghetto for the baritone (Henry VIII.) " Qui done com- 
mande quand il aime," reminding you of nothing so much as of the 
" Voi che sapete" of the " Nozze de Figaro," though on comparing 
the two side by side there is not one bar to trace this likeness 
more conclusively ; then there is a chorus for soprani and alti, 
" Noble dame, pour vous plaire," which for beauty and masterly 
handling of the instruments may vie with the opening scene of the 
second act of the " Hugenots ;" but the three numbers, beautiful 
as they are, sink into comparative and temporary oblivion after 
listening to the concerted piece in which the Queen pleads for 
Buckingham's life, the king breathing words of passionate love 
into Anne Boleyn's ear, the De profundis sung outside as Bucking- 
ham marches to his doom lending a gravity to the whole, which 
is only marred by one defect, the involuntary or intentional weak- 
ness of the choral masses. Here, again, a certain likeness to the 
"Miserere" of the " Trovatore" is audible, but M. Saint Saens' mor- 
ccau is vastly superior both in technique and harmony. 

APRIL 2, 1883.] PLAYS IN PARIS. 227 

The grand scene in the third act, where Henry defies the Pope's 
legate, who excommunicates him, and has the doors of the synod 
thrown open to the people, is unfortunately preceded by a scien- 
tific but monotonous piece of scoring the only blot upon the 
whole work, from the listener's point of view. 

The triumph of the evening, and I must conclude. It is the 
culminating scene of the drama, and showed M. Saint Sae'ns' powers 
to the full. I am inclined to doubt that it formed part of MM. 
Detroyat and Silvestre's original plot. If mistaken, I beg their 
pardon ; but I can scarcely believe that, ignorant as they have 
shown themselves with regard to the main facts of a most hack- 
neyed episode in English history, they, too, are acquainted with 
Schiller's " Mary Stuart," from which the scene has evidently been 
borrowed, though it is historically as inaccurate as that of the great 
German poet. 

Five years after Anne Boleyn's marriage and coronation MM. 
Detroyat and Silvestre are evidently not aware that Elizabeth 
was born in 1533, and Edward VI., Jane Seymour's son, in 
1537 five years, then, after the marriage, Anne repairs to 
Kimbolton in order to obtain a letter written by her to Don 
Gomez de Feria, whilst both were at the Court of Francis I., in the 
possession of Catherine. The struggle between the guilty woman 
who supplicates and the victim who repulses, scored in a transcen- 
dent fashion, makes us scarcely notice the arrival of the King and 
Don Gomez, until the former, in order to obtain the letter of whose 
existence he is aware, but the contents whereof he ignores, tries 
to rouse his discarded wife's jealousy and ire by a purposely ex- 
aggerated fondling of Anne. Altogether original the theme is 
not ; but its freshness of expression, the skilful blending of the 
instruments, the perfidy breaking forth in every note, rather than 
in the words, until Katherine, struck to the very heart, finishes the 
interview by a series of closely followed, heartrending exclama- 
tions, may be conceived with equal grandeur I doubt whether it 
will be surpassed. 

The audience, absolutely spellbound, kept perfectly silent for 
more than half a minute after the last note had died away ; then, 
with a shout such as I have only heard once, they re-demanded 
the whole. 

The costumes and scenery, in spite of the clamour raised about 
them, are nothing out of the common. Of the three principal 

228 THE THE A TRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

performers, Lassalle (Henry), Mdlle. Krauss (Katherine), Mdlle. 
Richard (Anne), it would be difficult to speak in too high terms. 

Of " Peau Neuve," born, buried, and forgotten in the space of 
four days, it is scarcely necessary to speak. The Palais Royal 
has had a run of bad luck lately, which it was thought the new 
production by a young and untried author would stem and turn. 
M. Francisque scarcely thought well of the piece on reading it, 
but, to make assurance doubly sure, recommended a partial recon- 
struction by that veteran playwright, M. Gondinet. The result 
was the most ignominious frost I ever witnessed, here or elsewhere. 
The plot, if not altogether original, was at least not so hackneyed 
in France as in London, where Mr. Toole has made the character 
of the nouveau riche wishing to mix with his social superiors almost 
his own. Messrs. Byron and Burnand have, however, never en- 
deavoured to make the parvenu ashamed of his wealth, and the 
means by which he obtained it, with a determination of having 
recourse to any subterfuge rather than divulge either. This 
determination led to complications involving three acts, the last 
of which the public and critics absolutely refused to see, though it 
contained the best situation, where the former head waiter impul- 
sively throws off his veneer, snatches up his napkin, and attends 
upon his former customers. I think I saw Mr. Toole do some- 
thing similar at the Gaiety, in a piece the title of which has 
slipped my memory. 

So much for the vaunted benefits of collaboration, which those 
who have never tried it in England are never tired of recommend- 
ing. In collaboration there is almost always a dupe, unless both 
writers be men of equal talent, though each in a different branch. 
This dupe is generally the man of talent, for the novice is 
simply a foolhardy oarsman, rowing in the same boat with the 
experienced dramatist, but " not with the same sculls," as Douglas 
Jerrold expressed it. Little by little he shows his colleague that 
at " crab catching" he is an adept, but that should any accident 
befall he cannot swim. Rather than drown the veteran is obliged 
to row for two. Should they reach land in safety the tyro 
generally repeats that without him the veteran would have been a 
lost man. 

APRIL 2, 1883.] PLA YS IN PARIS. 229 

" Le Roi des Grecs," the new drama, in five acts and seven 
tableaux, by M. Adolphe Belot (produced at the Gaiety on the 
8th of March) is not, as its title would lead you to infer, an his- 
torical, but simply a sensation play, which but for one scene in a 
gambling-house, would lack every element of novelty to English 
audiences provided the latter had not seen Mr. Pinero's 
" Money Spinner," where a similar situation has been treated in a 
much more masterly way, and virtually belongs to, and is deftly 
incorporated with, the plot, whilst in M. Belot's drama it is simply 
an excrescence to catch the vulgar ; for the inveterate gamblers 
who went to see it on the first night and Paris is full of them 
openly declared that had the author appealed to them they could 
show him one or two tricks, each worth a dozen of his. Short of 
this, it is the story of a brother-in-law sacrificing himself to save 
his sister's husband from shame and dishonour, the latter being a 
painter by profession and a gambler by vocation. The innocent 
man is imprisoned, the guilty one remains at large, ignorant of the 
former's punishment. He redeems his career, and is about to return 
to France, to meet his brother-in-law, who is about to be liberated, 
when he is tempted by two adventurers to become their con- 
federate. The innocent convict failing to keep the appointment 
owing to a fresh but groundless charge having been brought against 
him, the erstwhile gambler is going headlong to perdition, when 
an insult offered to his daughter makes him blow up the whole of 
the concern by peaching. This scene, and a prison interior with 
the convicts at work, are the two sensations relied on. The latter 
is neither better nor worse than the second act of " Never Too 
Late to Mend," but there is a little more movement. The critics, 
however, have pronounced it unique. Tell them that we in 
England are absolutely weary of that sort of exhibition, that we 
can and do much better at our second-rate theatres, they laugh and 
shrug their shoulders. So one does not tell them, but warns in- 
tending purchasers. The acting of " Le Roi de Grecs" is very good. 

" L'As de Trefle" (The Ace of Clubs) is the detection of a 
murder by means of a card left in the hands of the murdered 
woman. Cleverly constructed, well played, and magnificently 
mounted, it is likely to fill the coffers of Madame Sarah Bern- 
hardt, at whose theatre, the Ambigu, it was produced on Thurs- 
day, the 1 5th of March. The situations are particularly striking 

230 THE THE A TRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

from beginning to end, for some of them place us face to face with 
peculiar phases of Paris life which, grovelling and ignoble as they 
are in reality, lend themselves forcibly to scenic and dramatic 
illustration. A very realistic reproduction of a lower class-music 
hall, a free fight between the police and a set of thieves and 
cardsharpers, something analogous to Mr. Sims' scene in the 
" Lights o' London," added considerably to the success of the 
evening. Literary merit the piece has not not half as much as 
Mr. Sims' has ; but seeing that it is the debut of a young play- 
wright, M. Pierre de Courcelles, it promises well for his future 
career. M. Taillade, who plays the chief part, which is not the 
murderer, only the confederate, is simply magnificent. 

I find that I have left myself no space to speak of what are 
really the two most important theatrical events of the month 
the revival of M. Emile Augier's " Les Effrontes" at the Comedie 
Franchise (Wednesday, 7th of March), and the production of M. 
Auguste Vacquerie's " Formosa" at the Odeon (Friday, the 1 6th), 
but my neglect cannot be remedied now. As the month of April 
is likely to be, theatrically speaking, a maiden one, I must defer 
criticism of these two masterpieces till your next issue. 

A simple line in memento of the debut of a new singer, Mdlle. 
Rolandt, in Mozart's " Magic Flute." She sings the music as it 
is written, and as Nilsson sings it ; but seeing that the upper notes 
are particularly thin, and not at all relished by the Parisian 
public or critics, her acquisition to M. Carvalho is likely to prove 
a white elephant. 


NOT very long ago an old friend of mine a, cosmopolitan 
impressario, agreeably devoid of conventional prejudices 
and altogether unsusceptible of being shocked by artistic short- 
comings in the way of either morality or manners had a mind 
to make the personal acquaintance of an eminent cotemporary 
composer, for whose works he entertained the liveliest admiration. 
Perhaps he only wished to look the great man in the face and 

APRIL 2, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL BOX. 231 

pay him verbal tribute of hero-worship ; perhaps the possibility 
of a musical " transaction" in the operatic line had flashed across 
his singularly bright and receptive mind's eye. Any way, he 
journeyed to the ancient capital of Bohemia on purpose to visit 
the composer in question, obtained his address, and resolutely 
hunted him up in an unfashionable and somewhat intricate quartier 
of that most picturesque city. Having at length, after mounting 
an unconscionable number of stairs, and erroneously knocking at 
several doors, obtained admission to the dwelling of genius, my 
friend found that abode to be a largish sky-parlour, well lighted, 
but uncarpeted and sparsely furnished. At a table in the centre 
of this modest apartment sate the doughty composer himself, in 
his shirt-sleeves, smoking a huge china-bowled pipe, with a 
foaming tankard of Marzen-Bier handy to his clutch, and his 
slender stock of body-linen, fresh from the washtub, suspended 
on lines running above his head criss-cross from corner to corner 
of the room. The other leading features of the scene were a 
small bed, a large grand-piano, a goodly collection of wine and 
beer-bottles, and a dense atmosphere of Knaster smoke. 

The denizen of this, in every sense of the word, Bohemian 
lodging, was no less a personage than Anton Dvorak (pronounced 
Dvorjacques, as in French), the performance of whose admirable 
" Stabat Mater" by the London Musical Society at St. James's 
Hall, on Saturday evening, March 10, constituted the most im- 
portant event of the early metropolitan musical season of 1883. 
It is not too much to say that no work of this class, composed 
during the past quarter of a century, equals Dvorak's Stabat in 
originality, downright beauty and truthful translation, into sound 
of religious rapture and devotional dejection. Whilst recording 
this conviction in black and white, I am not unmindful of such 
chef d'oeuvres as the Requiems of Brahms and Verdi, or Gounod's 
"Missa Solennis," and "Redemption." But there is something 
in Dvorak's setting of the noble old Catholic hymn more than 
structural grandeur, sensuous loveliness and facility of emotional 
utterance s respectively characterizing the magnificent compositions 
above alluded to. It is difficult perhaps impossible to give 
that something intelligible verbal definition. Perhaps I shall not 
be far off the truth in signalizing it as an exquisitely felicitous 
faculty of interpreting sentiment through the agencies of melody 

232 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

and harmony. Dvorak's renderings of several deeply significant 
lines in the Stabat are psychical revelations to those who can 
feel, but to whom the power of expressing their feelings has not 
been granted. I speak, of course, always of musicians. Dvorak 
must himself have undergone the inner experiences of sentiment 
and passion hinted at so forcibly in the text of the hymn, and 
found within his soul the inestimable power of conveying to 
musical intelligences an exact and perfect understanding of the 
phases of feeling through which those experiences carried him. 
It must be clearly understood, moreover, that this descriptive gift 
of his, obviously not earned by labour, but inborn never leads 
him astray into the labyrinth of " infinite melody," or tempts him 
to cross the frontier of " the Immeasurable, ever renewing itself 
out of itself," that mystic realm over which Richard Wagner held 
undisputed sway. Dvorak is invariably as correct, from a classical 
point of view, in form as he is romantic in treatment and lavish in 
adornment of his subjects for the most part brief and refreshingly- 
simple themes. He sticks closely to precedents of the very best 
sort, and exhibits a surprising loyalty to the Masters who shaped 
out and established what we are accustomed to speak of as 
" classic forms." Some of his most elaborate musical architecture 
in the Stabat is built up upon no broader foundation than a four- 
bar tune, which, however, makes itself felt in every detail of the 
superstructure. Dvorak is no spendthrift of melody. On the 
contrary, he is chary of Leitmotive, but exhibits a surpassing 
knowledge of how to impart variety of import and manner to the 
themes he deals out so sparingly. 

Dvorak's " Stabat Mater" leaves no executant resource of the 
musical art unappealed to for the production of every tone-effect 
hitherto achieved by vocal and instrumental combinations. He 
utilizes the human voice in delicate threads as well as imposing 
masses of sound, the full orchestra of our day and the mighty 
organ, with all its modern developments. All these implements 
he manipulates with a master-hand. No secret of orchestration 
is unknown to him, and his fertility of invention, as far as " new 
methods of treatment" are concerned, is apparently inexhaustible. 
Of the performance much might be said that I propose to leave 
unsaid, because of my gratitude to the London Musical Society 
for making this noble, this exalting and refining work known in 

APRIL 2, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL BOX. 233 

England. Mr. Barnby is an excellent chorus-master, but an 
indifferent orchestral leader ; consequently, the choruses were 
capitally rendered, and the accompaniments frequently confused, 
faulty, and uncertain. All that can justly be pleaded in favour 
of the soloists, is that they did their " level best" from first to last, 
sparing no pains or exertion to achieve results that were creditable, 
if not uniformly satisfactory. 

Richard Wagner's death, unexpected though scarcely prema- 
ture, affected artistic Germany with all the force and poignancy 
of a national calamity. The first generous instinct of his country- 
men, on being apprised of the irreparable loss they had suffered, 
was to make ample provision for the dead Master's widow and 
children. Happily, as it now appears, these bereaved ones stand 
in no need of material assistance, or, indeed, of aught but conso- 
lation for their bereavement. Besides " Wahnfried," his handsome 
and luxuriously furnished villa at Bayreuth, a town-house at 
Munich presented to him years ago by King Louis II. of Bavaria, 
a small collection of valuable paintings, and a fine musical library* 
Wagner left behind him tantiemes, or royalties, equivalent to an 
income of about 5,000 a year, to be considerably augmented, in 
all probability, a few years hence. In 1874, when he happened to 
be severely pressed for a large sum of ready money, he pledged the 
tantiemes of " Rienzi," " The Flying Dutchman," and " Tann- 
haeuser," for fifteen years to a Frankfort music-publisher. The 
mortgage has still six years to run, at the expiration of which 
term Wagner's heirs will recover their suspended rights to the 
"author's share" of all profits accruing from the performance of 
his works. It may be presumed, moreover, that his autobiography 
which he completed, revised with infinite carefulness, and 
caused to be printed some time before his death will be pub- 
lished ere long, and prove a small fortune in itself to his family. 
It is contained in four goodly volumes, prepared and produced by 
an eminent typographical firm at Basel, and only three copies of 
it exist at present, one of which he gave to his father-in-law, 
Francis Liszt, and another to his only son, Siegfried, whilst of 
the third he retained possession for his own use as a book of 

It was Wagner's habit to make his musical sketches in pencil 


234 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

Ruled paper was strewn about in all the rooms of Wahnfried, his 
villa at Bayreuth ; and he would often wander about the house 
all night long, thinking out " treatments" and excogitating " sub- 
jects," which he would jot down whenever they happened to occur 
to him, in bedroom, parlour, or library. His wife collected these 
scraps of composition often mere phrases, experiments in modu- 
lation, or suggestions as to the instrumentation of some orchestral 
passage and endeavoured to impart endurance to them by 
inking over the pencil-marks, till the task grew too onerous even 
for her enthusiastic love and hero-worship. Then she conceived 
the project of gathering together all Wagner's manuscripts, to be 
deposited and for ever preserved in Wahnfried. For several years 
past she has conducted a voluminous correspondence with all 
manner of people in all sorts of countries, having for its object 
the obtention, for love or money, of her husband's early manu- 
scripts, scattered abroad in every direction. Success has crowned, 
for the most part, her indefatigable perseverance, which has led 
to the discovery in strange nooks and corners of many compo- 
sitions totally forgotten by their author until she laid them before 
him. The "Wagner Musical Archives" thus rescued from obli- 
vion constitute an inestimable relic of the dead Master, and one 
of Wahnfried's most interesting curiosities. 

A popular pianist, whose comely countenance was formerly 
familiar to the musical public all over the world, but who for some 
years past has led a retired life in his native city, died the other day 
at Dresden. Leopold de Meyer of the agile fingers, indefatigable 
tongue and inexhaustible spirits, has joined the majority. He 
was born near Vienna in the year 1816 of well-to-do Jewish 
parents, and studied the piano, for which he had a passion, under 
Charles Czerny and Professor Fischhof, both of whom regarded 
him as a pupil of exceptional capacities. He soon acquired the 
reputation of an extraordinarily brilliant player, and obtained per- 
mission to play at Court, not only at the State Concerts, but at the 
" soirees intimes" given by different members of the Imperial 
Family. On one occasion I should mention that he was wont to 
exert himself violently during his performances upon the pianoforte 
he was summoned to Prague " by command" to play before the 
Emperor Ferdinand and Empress Maria. Having executed some 
of the most elaborate and laborious morceaiix of his repertoire, he 

APRIL 2 , 1883.] OUR MUSICAL BOX. 235 

was rising from his music-stool to withdraw, when the grey old 
Kaiser, grinning with superlative slyness, toddled up to him and 
exclaimed, " My dear Meyer, I have heard a good lot of piano 
players, I have heard Thalberg (here Meyer bowed profoundly) ; I 
have heard Liszt (here Meyer bent himself nearly double) ; but not 
one of them sweated half so profusely as you do !" Tableau ! De 
Meyer used to tell this story with keen relish of its intrinsic 
comicality, although the joke was unmistakably at his own expense- 

Another " personal anecdote" I had from his own lips 
many years ago. In I 843 he was bidden to Stamboul. The 
Commander of the Faithful had heard of his skill as a musical 
pyrotechnist, and wished to see what he could do. De Meyer 
borrowed a grand-piano from one of the Austrian Secretaries of 
Embassy, himself a distinguished amateur pianist, and had it con- 
veyed to the Palace, where it was set up in one of the larger re- 
ception-rooms. When the Sultan perceived it, on entering the 
apartment where De Meyer was awaiting him, he started, as though 
in alarm, asked his attendants " what that monster was, standing 
there on three legs ?" and utterly refused to listen to any perform- 
ance upon it until those offending members should be removed, 
Accordingly, the legs were unscrewed and taken away, the body of 
the instrument deposited on the floor, and Leopold de Meyer, 
squatting cross-legged on a piece of carpet a la Turque, went 
through his showy programme as best he might in that embarrass- 
ing attitude. The Padishah was delighted, and expressed his 
gratification in a highly satisfactory manner by presenting De 
Meyer with the sum of 1,200, as baksheesh. That was the sort 
of recognition of his talent that De Meyer thoroughly appreciated, 
for he was, unlike the majority of professional musicians, the 
thriftiest of men. I remember being at Karlsbad, years ago, one 
season when he visited that sanatorium to undergo its " cure" for 
tumefied liver, and sharing the surprise of Austro-German society 
there at the modest, not to say self-detracting, guise in which he 
announced his advent in the Kur-Liste. Omitting the predicate 
of nobility that lent a certain distinction to his by no means 
unusual name, and the honorific titles (such as Imperial and Royal 
Court Pianist, for instance) dozens of which he had the right to 
tack on to his patronymic, he had simply described himself as 
" Leopold Meyer, Pianoforte-Player from Vienna." I thought it 

R 2 

236 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

charmingly unassuming on his part, until I found out from the 
principal Badarzh that De Meyer's sole object in thus temporarily 
foregoing his honours of birth and conferment was to save the 
equivalent of a guinea in Austrian currency. All persons taking 
the waters at Karlsbad have to pay a " Cure-Tax" to the town 
proportionate to their social standing and means. As " De 
Meyer, Hofpianist," a nobleman and Court official, he would have 
been mulcted in the tax imposed upon first-class invalids ; as plain 
" Meyer, Clavierspieler," he naturally lapsed into the third class, by 
which arrangement he was ten florins and a half in pocket. At 
that time he was, be it remembered, a very wealthy man, and wore 
upon his breast decorations galore, given to him by half the 
Sovereigns of Europe. 

Amongst the more recent musical publications that reached me 
in the course of last month, two songs, both of which are issued 
by Messrs. Willcocks & Co., deserve especial mention as tuneful 
and vigorous compositions. k< King and Crown, a Roundhead 
Song" by Mr. Allen Macbeth, is a strongly-marked and spirited 
melody, thrown into striking relief by a cleverly-written accom- 
paniment. Mr. Odoardo Barri's " Sons of the Sea" possesses 
what, in the opinion of Prince Bismarck, is the chief merit of any 
musical composition namely, a " tune that can be whistled ;" by 
which I take the epigrammatical Chancellor to have meant a 
tune at once so easy to remember and of so taking a character 
that any one endowed with a tolerable ear would be likely to re- 
tain it in his memory after having heard it two or three times. 
The same publishers have also reproduced the Parisian edition of 
Schuler's " Grevin Polka," which is extremely cheery and " dance- 
able ;" and a cahier of Nursery Rhymes entitled " Grandmamma's 
Jokes for little Folks original music interspersed with humorous 
narrative," the composer of which has somewhat too lugubriously 
failed to fulfil the promise inscribed on his title-page, alike with 
respect to originality and humour. He does gratuitous wrong to 
such a dear old familiar text as, "Where are you going, my 
pretty maid ?" long ago provided with a capital tune of its own, 
by re-setting it to laboured and ugly strains ; and the " Grand- 
mamma" of his creation, whose claim to attention is exclusively 
based upon her alleged waggishness, is simply a drivelling dullard. 
When one reflects how easy it would have been for Mr. George 

APRIL 2, 1883.] A PROMISE OF MAY. 237 

Fox not to write " Grandmamma's Jokes for little Folks," one 
cannot help deploring the indomitable incapacity of some people 
to "let well alone." 


A Promise of May ! 

Promittas facito : quid enim promittere bedit ? 
Pollicitis dives quilibet esse potest. 

! promise me, that some day, you and I 
May take our love together to some sky 
Where we can be alone, and faith renew, 
And find the hollow where those flowers grew 
Those first sweet violets of early spring 
That come in whispers, thrill us both, and sing 
Of love unspeakable that is to be. 
Oh ! promise me ! 

Oh ! promise me that you will wait to taste 
Love's sweetest essence, till we pass this waste 
Of weary wandering, and reach that shore 
Silent with triumph of our evermore, 
Blue with our endless hope, and kiss'd by waves 
Of perfect pleasure, far from gloom and graves 
Of buried sorrows ! Love ! this ecstasy 
Oh ! promise me ! 

Oh ! promise me ! that you will take me then 
The most unworthy of all living men 
And make me sit beside you, in your eyes 
Seeing the vision of our paradise, 
Hearing God's message, whilst the organ rolls 
Its mighty music to our very souls 
No love less perfect than such life with thee. 
Oh ! promise me ! 



[APRIL 2, iSS; 


A New Burlesque-Drama, in Three Acts, by F. C. BURNANU. Produced at the Gaiety Theatre, 
on Monday, March 12, 1883. 

Baron Abomelique 



de Barbe Bleue 

Miss E. FARREN. 










Miss Ross. 






Miss P. WATSON, 










Miss Du PRE. 





Jean de Talons au. 





. MR. W. WARD. 





r I ^HE public should stand greatly indebted to Mr. Burnand for 
-* having given to a popular theatre a very palatable form of 
comic opera, instead of the wretched entertainments, miscalled bur- 
lesques, that have dragged their slow length along until they have 
begun to weary even their most devoted admirers and patrons. 
Familiarity is very properly said to breed contempt, and certainly 
when a close familiarity is established between the artists on the 
stage and the front row of the stalls, and when entertainments are 
fashioned for the vanity of the one and the idle pastime of the 
other, it was high time that some one should organize a new de- 
parture. For years and years past the critics of the daily and 
weekly press have protested with all available earnestness against 
a system in which no one was properly sincere. The manager. 
who wanted the critics to give their opinion on his public enter- 
tainment, and then ridiculed them for giving it, was certainly not 
sincere in believing that he had done his utmost with all available 
material. No one knows better what a good play is or what 
good acting is than John Hollingshead. He is a man of ex- 
perience and judgment ; he has been a dramatic critic ; and it is 
impossible to believe that during the whole of his career as a 
dramatic critic he could have seen anything much more paltry 
than the recent editions of Gaiety burlesques. Dramatic critics 
do not profess to be more exclusive in their intellectuality than 
other people are, yet a visit to a Gaiety burlesque has been con- 
sidered by them a waste of vital force, irrespective of the deplorable 
waste of time. They are, after all, but the mouthpieces of the 
public, and it seemed to them that what appeared to be in their eyes 
mere childishness and abject buffoonery, might be viewed in the 

APRIL 2, 1883.] OUR PL A Y BOX. 239 

same light by other patrons of the British drama. It was no 
croaking, it was no ridiculous prudery, it was no carping spirit 
that induced public writers to deplore the inanity that was adver- 
tised as art. If the manager had been really outspoken he would 
have said that he was letting down his amusements to the low 
level of some of the most brainless patrons of the drama in 
existence. The authors were certainly not sincere. They could 
all do better work ; they have all done better work. Secretly 
they were ashamed of their calling, when there was no reason for 
anything of the kind. They winced under the title of burlesque 
writers, and knew full well that they were writing down far below 
the level of their ordinary intelligences to suit the idiosyncrasies of 
these particular playgoers. They were like the verse-makers who 
have to write up to a completed picture, only that they write 
down to the front row of the stalls. The artists on the stage were 
certainly not sincere. They all knew that they could do better 
things, only it satisfied them for the moment to pretend to act and 
tumble down to the level of the " boys." " The drama's laws, the 
drama's patrons give !" Yes, it is quite true ; but what a legislative 
body ! Mr. Alfred Austin once described a society where " the 
half-drunk lean over the half-dressed." Happily, in this instance, 
there was an intervening orchestra ; but the spectacle for the outside 
spectator was just as offensive. When ladies on the stage keep up 
running comments with friends in the stalls, and regard the 
majority of those who have paid their money to be amused with 
profound indifference, it was high time that some one should struggle 
for a better state of things. 

An erroneous impression got abroad that burlesque was un- 
popular in critical circles, simply because it was burlesque ; it was 
said that a certain order of mind demanded nothing but solemn 
and serious work, and that a dead set was being made against the 
lighter amusements of the day. Never was there a greater mis- 
take. Burlesque was attacked because it was not burlesque ; be- 
cause it imitated and parodied nothing ; because it was senseless and 
formless ; because it was not really amusing but miserably dull. 
Why should writers attack burlesque who have derived some of the 
very merriest evenings at the play they can recall at the hands of 
burlesque actors and actresses ? Let us go back to the past when 
burlesque was burlesque. Oh ! well-remembered Olympic days, 
when Robson was in his triumph and George Cooke was his right- 

240 THE THE A TRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

hand man. That was acting indeed ; that was the sublimity of 
burlesque. It was inspired acting ; it was great, and yet it amused 
the public. In those days it was urged that Robson was wasting 
his time on burlesque, that he could do far greater and nobler 
things, that he ought to be playing the real Shylock instead of the 
sham one. What nonsense ! Robson could never have mastered 
Shylock in its entirety. He could flash but he could not sustain. 
He was a brilliant parodist, not a creator. But they were golden 
days for all that. Miss Herbert, afterwards one of the best 
comedy actresses of her time, was in the Olympic company, and the 
boys of those days raved not a little about Miss Wyndham and 
Miss Cottrell, did they not ? 

The scene changes to the Strand Theatre, just emerged from 
dreary nothingness into immortality. That reminds one. There 
was a night does any one remember it ? when some tipsy fellow 
in the boxes handed to Mrs. Selby a wreath of immortelles. The 
sarcasm was not to be endured. There was a hideous rumpus, and 
sundry apologies had to be made to the naturally offended lady. 
This incident preceded the glorious days of burlesque at the Strand. 
Who will ever forget them who was a boy in 1859? Marie 
Wilton was the idol of the hour. Her Pippo in the " Maid and 
the Magpie" made the youths of the period frantic. And then her 
Albert in " William Tell ;" her Gringoire in (( Esmeralda," when 
she beat the drum arrayed in silk fleshings and a sheepskin coat ! 
And with Marie Wilton was a goodly company Jimmy Rogers, a 
quaint actor with a wonderful facial expression, very much in the 
Edward Terry style ; Johnnie Clarke, the very antithesis of Rogers 
can they ever be forgotten as Claude Frollo and Quasimodo in 
" Esmeralda ;" Fanny Josephs, one of the sweetest and most 
sympathetic actresses the stage ever had ; Kate Carson, a tall and 
handsome dark beauty, and the same faithful old Turner, who is 
acting at the Strand to this very day. And Edge what has become 
of Edge, a noteworthy subordinate in those memorable days ? But 
in those days the burlesques were not elaborated emptiness. The 
actors had something to do ; the actresses had something to say. 
The books were written by H. J. Byron, and Frank Talfourd, and 
the Brothers Brough, and Andrew Halliday, and Leicester Bucking- 
ham, and men of that kidney. They were not indifferent works of 

Agai n the scene changes to the Royalty. It is the first night 

APRIL 2, 1883.] OUR PL A Y BOX. 241 

of " Ixion," written by Frank Burnand. The manageress is Mrs. 
Selby, the heroine of the immortelle story, and she is vastly inter- 
ested in the Misses Pelham, who never made a distinguished 
mark. Lydia Maitland is here, a very handsome girl, and Ada 
Cavendish, the Venus on this memorable occasion. Felix Rogers, 
a mercurial comedian, and Jenny Wilmore, his wife, play the 
leading characters ; and Joe Robins, the favourite at the Fielding- 
Club in the old Albert Smith days, is Bacchus or Ganymede. 
When Felix Rogers sang, " Let dogs delight to bark and bite," to 
a popular tune and in a falsetto key, the success of " Ixion" was 
assured. No one complained of that burlesque because it was 
foolish ; on the contrary, it was extremely well written. Another 
brilliant period at the Royalty came with another burlesque by 
Burnand. It was " Black-Eyed Susan," with its triumvirate of 
Patty Oliver, Fred Dewar, and Danvers, one of the best dancers 
the burlesque stage has ever seen, and a quaint fellow into the 
bargain. As for the rest, every one can remember it. The Strand 
days, with David James and Thomas Thorne, long before they 
fused at the Vaudeville ; the Gaiety days, with J. L. Toole and 
Nellie Farren, until we come to a more recent and modern period. 
It would not be rash, and it certainly would be true, to state that 
the present Gaiety company is equal in intelligence, in skill, and 
in popularity to any of its predecessors. Such a burlesque actress 
as Nellie Farren has not been seen by the present generation of 
playgoers. No one in the very palmiest days of burlesque ever 
acted and delivered with such skill two such songs as the Street 
Arab's song and My Boy in " Blue Beard." But hitherto she has 
been wasting her opportunities. She has not been doing herself jus- 
tice. There are old boys as well as young boys, and they regretted 
that she should so underrate her talent. Now she has her opportunity, 
and she makes the most of it. " Blue Beard" is not Miss Farren in 
another kind of costume, but an excellent bit of burlesque acting. 
Again, Mr. Edward Terry can compare with the best burlesque 
actors seen during the last quarter of a century. He is an actor, 
as everyone knows, who followed his fortunes at the Strand. In 
the new burlesque he also can act, and admirably too. Who can 
forget his cry of despair when Petipois has played too freely with 
the hair-dye of " Blue Beard ?" " It won't come out !" There was 
a ring of tragic horror in that one sentence an acuteness that 
was penetrating. It will ring in our ears as an excellent instance 

242 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

of the tragi-comic force. And then there is Miss Kate Vaughan, 
an actress of exceptional and original grace, who is also a parodist 
of some delicacy. Her caricature of Sara Bernhardt is no simple 
imitation. To be thin and graceful is one thing ; but it is quite 
another to burlesque the style of an actress as Miss Vaughan does. 
Her dance round the execution block is inimitable a gem of 
caricature in its way, and no one can appreciate it who has not 
seen " Fedora." So, on the whole, Mr. Burnand is to be congratu- 
lated. He has converted the manager of the Gaiety Theatre to a 
belief in comicality as against nonsense, and he has induced the 
company to forget for once the boys and the front row in favour 
of a more extensive audience and more discriminating public. 


A New and Original Drama, in a Prologue and Five Acts, by ROBERT BUCHANAN. Produced at 
the Adelphi Theatre, on Wednesday, March 14, 1883. 

Squire Orchardson ... MR. E. F. EDGAR. | Priscilla Sefton ... Miss EWERETTA LAWRENCE 

Richard Orchardson... MR. J. H. BARNES. 
Dame Christianson ... MRS. BILLINGTON. 
Christian Christian- 

Kate Christianson ... Miss AMY ROSELLE. 

Mr. Sefton MR. J. G. SHORE. 

Jacob Marvel ... MR. A. REDWOOD. 

Sally Marvel ... Miss CLARA JECKS. 


Captain E. S. Hig- 

ginbotham ... MR. E. R. FITZDAVIS. 

Jabez Greene 
Johnnie Dowi 

TV /T R. ROBERT BUCHANAN'S novel, called " God and the 
*i4- Man," is remarkable as much for the power of the story as 
for the eccentricity of the dedication attached to the book. The 
author calls his romance " A study of the vanity and folly of 
individual hate," and proceeds to dedicate it to an " Old Enemy." 
The old enemy was none other than Dante Gabriel Rossetti, poet 
and painter, now no more, and with whom it could scarcely be 
supposed that Mr. Robert Buchanan would have very much in 
common. Their ways are divergent ; their songs are set in a dis- 
tinctly different key ; the art they respectively followed was in- 
harmonious ; the earnestness of the creed of each sprang from a 
different source. It would have been strange indeed had two such 
men sympathized in anything appertaining to art or poetry. It 
may be interesting, however, to quote Mr. Buchanan's general con- 
fession or apology, in which he frankly owns to have misunderstood 
the bent of Rossetti's mind and the distinct quality of his genius. 
There was scarcely any need for it. We do not look for regret 
from the order of mind that expresses its disapproval of Rossetti's 
art, his colouring and his pictures by explosions of derision and ill- 
restrained laughter. The Philistine will remain the Philistine 

APRIL 2, 1883.] OUR PL A Y BOX. 243 

until the end of the chapter. You cannot cure the blackamoor of 
his skin or the leopard of his spots : it would be a needless waste 
of time to do so. To sympathy with Rossetti and his school is 
not after all a matter of education, but of predilection. It is not 
acquired taste ; it is inborn refinement and the possession of the 
higher qualities of imagination. Still it is interesting to learn even 
of the conversion of Mr. Robert Buchanan. 

" Since the work was first published the ' Old Enemy' to whom 
it was dedicated has passed away. Although his name did not 
appear on the front of the book, as it would certainly have done 
had I possessed more moral courage, it is a melancholy pleasure to 
me to reflect that he understood the dedication and accepted it in 
the spirit in which it was offered. That I should ever have under- 
rated his exquisite work is simply a proof of the incompetency of 
all criticism, however honest, which is conceived adversely, hastily, 
and from an unsympathetic point of view ; but that I should have 
ranked myself for the time being with the Philistines and en- 
couraged them to resist an ennobling and refining literary influence 
(of which they stood and stand so mournfully in need) must remain 
to me a matter of permanent regret." 

The dedication to " God and the Man" is twofold. The first 
poem is dated October, 1881, and headed 


I would have snatched a bay-leaf from thy brow, 

Wronging the chaplet on an honoured head : 
In peace and tenderness I bring thee now 

A lily-flower instead. 

Pure as thy purpose, blameless as thy song, 

Sweet as thy spirit, may this offering be : 
Forget the bitter blame that did thee wrong, 

And take the gift from me. 

The second dedication is dated August, 1882, and is addressed 
direct to 


Calmly, thy royal robe of Death around thee, 

Thou sleepest, and weeping brethren round thee stand. 

Gently they placed, ere yet God's angel crowned thee, 
My lily on thy head ! 

I never knew thee living, O my brother ! 

But on thy breast my lily of love now lies ; 
And by that token we shall know each other 

When God's voice saith, "Arise !" 

The story of " God and the Man," at first sight lends itself 

244 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

admirably to the purpose of the stage, though it does not necessarily 
follow that a novel written with dramatic effect will on that 
account evolve itself into a play. In a picturesque period of the 
last century we see the latest signs and the last bitter fruit of the 
hereditary hate between the Christiansens and the Orchardsons 
of the Fen country. The last heirs of this horrible quarrel are 
found in Christian Christianson, a fine manly representative of 
the English farmer, and Richard Orchardson, the refined and de- 
licate son of the rich squire of the parish. The parents of both 
boys daily feed this feud. It is essentially requisite, however, to 
keep in view, and strongly in view, the physical disparity between the 
two lads. The author is careful to emphasize it, when he depicts 
a famous scene where Christian Christianson thrashes Richard 
within an inch of his life for killing a favourite dog. The bad 
blood engendered is made to boil by means of the lash, and 
Richard bears a lifelong mark of the terrible encounter in boy- 
hood. But quarrels as fierce as these might be softened but for 
the occasionally outspoken influence of women. In ninety-nine 
cases out of a hundred where men fall out and would be recon- 
ciled again, it is the hidden and secret influence of a vindictive 
woman that prevents the healing of the wound. " Hell has no 
fury like a woman scorned." Quite true ; and as often as not 
she takes it out by nursing the feud that it should be her nature 
to heal. But it is no serpent amongst the branches of the family 
tree, no asp in the basket of figs, that stings the Christianson 
contention. Women are the unhappy accident that turn a simple 
hate into a determined savagery as between man and man. 
Christian's sister has fallen under the spell of his old foe Richard, 
and been ruined by him, and, as if this were not bad enough, both 
men passionately love the same woman. This girl is a charming 
character, one Priscilla Sefton, the daughter of a blind wandering 
preacher, who devotes his life and his income to saving souls, in 
the primitive fashion adopted by his master, John Wesley. The 
mixture of puritanism and poetry in this girl is very delightful ; 
she is as natural as she is novel in fiction, and is a refreshing 
feature of the painful story. With much art the novelist is able to 
elaborate the incidents of the seduction of poor Kate Christianson, 
her desertion by her base lover, and her miraculous preservation 
from death by the good Priscilla, who has innocently aggravated 
the quarrel by inspiring love in the breasts of both these men. 

APRIL 2, 1883.] OUR PLA Y BOX. 245 

A climax comes with the discovery by Christian of his sister's 
ruin, and of her seducer's departure for America with the only 
woman that Christian loves. He follows them on board ship 
disguised, he is put into irons by the captain for insubordination, 
his enemy Richard endeavours to fire the ship in order to destroy 
his foe, and at last, after many adventures, the two men are left 
alone to die of hunger and cold in the Arctic regions. The de- 
scription that follows is the most powerful in the whole book, but 
it needs no experienced eye to see that for the purposes of the 
stage it is assuredly overrated. The men are attacked by bears, 
they encounter hideous adventures, and at last travelling through the 
valley of the shadow of death their animosity softens, and Christian, 
with true pathos, not only forgives his offending brother, but 
buries him in the snow with his own hands. Left alone to die 
now, friendless and forgotten, he is rescued at the last moment, 
and returns home safely to marry Priscilla Sefton. The ethics 
here are unexceptional : the story is told with religious fervour. 

Strangely enough, Mr. Buchanan has, intentionally or uninten- 
tionally, missed the three most forcible dramatic features of his 
own book. First of all, he has ignored the necessity of any 
physical contrast between the men by making them both giants, 
or allowing them to be played by sons of Anak ; secondly, he has 
totally missed the exposition of the beautiful character of Pris- 
cilla Sefton ; and lastly, by bringing home Richard Orchardson 
safe and well to marry the girl he has so grievously injured, he 
has unnecessarily shocked his audience. The last of these 
mistakes can very probably be rectified with very little trouble, 
but the first two must stand as they were. The result is certainly a 
good Adelphi play of stirring incidents, although of a solemn kind. 
It begins far better than it finishes, and there is such charm in 
Mr. Beverley's scenery, pure, sunny, and English, and such variety 
in the conduct of the play, that it would not be surprising if 
hysterical movement, in this instance, supplies the place of pathos. 

To talk of acting in its highest and most subtle sense, is of 
course impossible in connection with a drama pitched in so high 
a key as this. Mr. Charles Warner is one of the most passionate 
and impulsive actors on the stage. He never rests ; he is always 
at work, toiling like a horse, even with a bad part. He sets an 
excellent example to all with whom he is brought into contact, 
and, if human energy can carry the point, he never allows the 

246 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

interest of the play to flag. The worst of it is, however, that the 
character of Christian Christianson has no light and shade, and 
the actor, from first to last, has to keep it up at fever-heat. Mr. 
Warner gets one fine chance in his manly and assuredly power- 
ful denunciation of the man who has seduced the careworn sister. 
Here his voice rose clear, and he touched everybody. There was 
the right ring in the curse ; it was never stagey or in any way 
melodramatic. As ill-luck will have it, Mr. J. H. Barnes, as 
Richard, has to be well-nigh as violent as Christian ; and the great 
snow scene certainly suffered from want of contrast between the 
two men. It became wearisome, because the ear was a little 
tired of the same key of despair a key that had already been 
sounded by Mrs. Billington, an excellent representative of the 
stern Puritan mother ; by Mr. E. F. Edgar, as the vindictive 
Squire ; and by Miss Amy Roselle, who expresses her grief for 
her condition far more forcibly than pathetically. Miss Eweretta 
Lawrence made a very promising first appearance as the Priscilla 
of the play, who is a very different young lady from the Priscilla 
in the book. Here she is found to be a somewhat frivolous and 
worldly-minded young lady, with more of the French coquette 
about her than the Wesleyan maiden. This young actress is 
certainly clever, and has a bright, animated style, with much 
welcome expression, but she has not quite discovered the art of 
managing her voice. The theatre and the part of a daft Lubin 
of the last century, do not suit the comedy of Mr. Beerhohm 
Tree ; but Miss Clara Jecks is one of the brightest little comic 
actresses of the day, and in this instance relieves the melodrama 
from much of its inevitable gloom. 


A New and Original Comedy, in Three Acts, by HAMILTON AIDE. Produced at the Olympic 
Theatre, on Saturday afternoon, March 17, 1883. 

Sir Martin Ingoldsby MR. W. H. VERNON. 

Lord de Motteville ... MK. DAVID FISHER. 

Hon. George de Motte- 
ville MR. J. A. ROSIER. 


Mr. Shakerley ... MR. FRED. CAPE. 

Mr. Gerald Anson ... MR. T. C. BINDLOSS. 

Lord Stanmore ... MR. BURROUGHS. 

Horner MR. W. E. BLATCHLEY. 

Henry MR. A. DARVELL. 

Servants to Lord de f MR. OGILVIE. 
Motteville . ... \ MR. A. H. PAYNE. 


Lady de Motteville .. 
Hon. Bertha de Motte 


Lady Stanmore 
Miss Stanmore 
Hon. Mrs. Beaumont .. 
Miss Beaumont 


Hon. Mrs. Henry de 






Motteville ... Miss GENEVIEVE WARD. 

MR. HAMILTON AIDE writes very pleasantly for the stage. 
He knows how to construct and fashion a play for the 
theatre, and when built he clothes it with neat and appropriate 

APRIL 2, 1883.] OUR PL A Y BOX. 247 

language. In the present instance he has used familiar material 
very cleverly, and invented fresh complications out of old difficul- 
ties. The author conceives a broken-down aristocratic family, 
ruined in purse and credit, and seeking to repair their fortunes by 
the marriage of their only daughter with a wealthy Australian, who 
has been knighted for his influence and vast colonial enterprise. 
Lord de Motteville and his wife are determined that their daughter 
shall marry Sir Martin Ingoldsby, a man old enough to be her 
father, and supposed to be what the fashionable world would call a 
great catch. Naturally the girl is averse to such a union, as she 
is already engaged to the inevitable cousin, whom she loves as 
devotedly as such a child can love anything. Still, seeing her 
father's impecuniosity, and disarmed by her mother's arguments, she 
does not seem to be indisposed to become Lady Ingoldsby if the 
domestic fates will that it should be so. In plain truth Bertha de 
Motteville is but a bread-and-butter miss, and has no soul superior 
to the cup and ball with which the pretty child is continually 
playing. A dea ex mackind appears in the person of a neglected 
aunt of the de Motteville family, a poor, snubbed, and humiliated 
relation, who, from a generous and disinterested affection for her 
niece, endeavours to stop what she considers to be a very heartless 
and unnecessary sacrifice. But how to set about her plan to destroy 
her natural enemy, Sir Martin Ingoldsby, who has got the ear of the 
family and the influence of those far more important in the household 
than herself ? Fate delivers him into her hands. She discovers that 
the Australian millionaire is none other than one Richard Carlton, 
who years ago had defrauded her father, left him penniless, brought 
about his death, and done to the girl, he then loved, the greatest 
injury a man can commit. Now, even in the interests of an un- 
interesting niece, it would be quite right to unmask a man who had 
never repented of the wrong he had done, or attempted to repair 
the injury. Had his amassed fortune been built upon the proceeds 
of the original robbery, there would be every reason to hand the 
embezzler over to justice, even at fifty years of age. There is no 
limit to the vindictiveness of some women. But this does not 
happen to be the case with Sir Martin Ingoldsby. He had never 
profited in any way by his fraud. His fortune was made by his 
own industry. He had made every endeavour to discover the 
daughter of the man he had robbed to save a father of his own 
and to assist her with his subsequently acquired wealth. In fact, 
in the way of absolute atonement and contrition, he had done all 

248 THE THE A TRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

that a man could possibly do. It seems rather unnatural, there- 
fore, for the aunt, Mrs. de Motteville, to persecute Sir Martin 
Ingoldsby for his past misdeeds, just as poor Forget-me-not was 
persecuted in the other play in which Miss Genevieve Ward dis- 
tinguished herself. But Mrs. de Motteville is relentless, and drives 
the poor wretch to the verge of suicide. However, at the last 
moment, she stops the revolver just as it is going to blow his 
brains out, and the generous Sir Martin not only gives up the girl, 
but endows her with a fortune into the bargain. In the matter, 
therefore, of Christianity, he strikes the audience as being with 
all his sins a far better specimen of what a man should be than 
the hard woman who pursues so bitterly the unrighteous creed, 
" An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." 

Readers of this plot will detect a great familiarity between 
it and Mr. Godfrey's " Parvenu," produced recently with such 
success at the Court Theatre ; but it must be remembered that Mr. 
Aide's play was written many years ago, and in all probability 
long before the " Parvenu " was born or thought of. Mr. Aide 
does not certainly put his aristocratic characters his lords and 
ladies in a very favourable light, and it may be hoped that all 
who are anxious to pull the aristocracy down will not lay too 
much stress on the unaccountable snobbishness of Lady de 
Motteville or the idiocy of Lord Boodle. 

The most difficult part in the play was awarded to Miss 
Genevieve Ward that of Mrs. de Motteville ; and she played it 
remarkably well, with a finish, an ease, a distinctness and power 
of expression too seldom seen in high comedy. It is the part of 
the piece, however disagreeable, but perhaps it can be modified 
and strengthened for any future representation. Mr. W. H. 
Vernon as Sir Martin Ingoldsby has seldom been seen to such 
advantage. He played the part firmly and well, and with a touch 
or so of very manly pathos. It is an admirably conceived and 
written character. As a contrast to this serious work we have some 
excellent eccentric comedy from Mr. Beerbohm Tree as Lord 
Boodle. This clever young actor has made a study of the beard- 
less boys of to-day, and his satire is direct and trenchant. But 
the caricature is never over-drawn; the art is admirable enough. 
Mrs. Leigh Murray, Mr. David Fisher, pretty Miss Lucy Buckstone, 
and Mr. Rosier, filled up a very intelligent caste. The play will 
doubtless be seen again. 

APRIL 2, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 249 

uv mmbus Boy. 

THOSE who have seen Mr. Henry Irving's superb revival of " Much 
Ado about Nothing/' at the Lyceum Theatre, cannot fail to 
appreciate the beauty and grandeur of the church scene in the fourth act. 
This brilliant spectacle has been reproduced on canvas by Mr. J. Forbes- 
Robertson, the clever actor-artist. Mr. Forbes-Robertson has chosen for 
illustration the tableau representing the denunciation of Hero. The back- 
ground of the picture is formed by the costly altar and the massive pillars 
that are presented with such an air of reality at the Lyceum. The charac- 
ters are admirably grouped, and the picture preserves all the impressiveness 
and brilliancy of the stage representation. The drawing is excellent, and 
the portraits which include all the principal members of the Lyceum 
company are admirable. The colouring is brilliant, and the light 
which is obtained on the stage by the side and foot lights is shed upon 
the picture through a window placed in the background. Mr. Forbes- 
Robertson has succeeded capitally in this endeavour to thus suitably 
preserve a valuable reminiscence of one of the grandest stage-scenes that 
has been witnessed, even at the Lyceum. 

Mr. E. Onslow Ford has just completed a life-size statue of Mr. Henry 
Irving as Hamlet. The actor is represented sitting down, delivering a 
soliloquy. The expression of the actor's face and his pose have been 
exactly caught by the sculptor. It is understood that the statue is intended 
for the Academy, whilst Mr. Forbes-Robertson's picture will either be hung 
at the Grosvenor Gallery, or else exhibited in connection with some other 
of the artist's pictures. 

More good news for theatrical readers, Mr. John Hollingshead has a 
volume of stories and essays in the press, to be published by Messrs. 
Chapman & Hall, under the title of "Footlights." It is dedicated to 
Mr. J. L. Toole, the most popular of living actors. 

At an informal meeting of the proposed Dramatic Authors' Guild, held 
recently at the Princess' Theatre, Mr. Bronson Howard in the chair, it was 
proposed by Mr. Paul Merritt, seconded by Mr. H. A. Jones, and carried 
unanimously "That the above Association shall be established, under 
certain conditions, for the following purposes: i. Generally to promote 
the interests of dramatic authors. 2. To obtain dramatic stage-right con- 
ventions with countries where they do not at present exist. 3. To improve 
dramatic stage-right enactments where they do exist, and especially to 
obtain powers of criminal prosecution against pirates. 4. To give oppor- 
tunity for the free interchange of ideas on the above subjects by means of 
meetings to be held as determined upon. The Association to undertake no 
private business of any kind." 

No ! No ! Mr. Punch, excuse me, you are wrong. The plot of the 

250 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

" Silver King" has nothing whatever in common with the famous old play 
of " Jonathan Bradford." It resembles it in no particular or incident. 
Nowhere in " Jonathan Bradford" does an innocent man believe that he is 
guilty of a crime that he has not committed, which is the fundamental 
motive of the "Silver King." The story of " Jonathan Bradford; or, the 
Murder at the Roadside Inn," was of course based by Edward Fitzball 
on the French " Robert Macaire," and is briefly as follows : Jonathan 
Bradford, a virtuous innkeeper, lives happily at his roadside inn with his 
wife and family, where they receive as one of their guests one " Mr. Adam 
Hayes, a wealthy man," the recent purchaser of the manor-house. Before 
he goes to bed he entrusts his watch to the care of Jonathan Bradford, and 
is known to be in possession of a large sum of money. Some scoundrels 
get into the inn at night and murder Mr. Hayes for his property. Jona- 
than Bradford rushes up when he hears the scream, and is accused of the 
murder by the dying and mystified Mr. Hayes, who, seeing the blood- 
stained knife in the hands of Jonathan, naturally concludes that he is the 
assassin. Imprisonment follows, and the innocent Jonathan would as- 
suredly have been executed had not a friend procured his escape from 
gaol, and pure accident revealed to him the true murderers, who are skulking 
round the churchyard when the murdered Mr. Hayes is about to be buried. 
This drama, written in 1833, is contained in two acts. 

But if "Jonathan Bradford" is foreign to the primary idea of the " Silver 
King," there are at least t\vo popular melodramas that start with the same 
dramatic complication. In the " Lights o' London" an innocent man is 
accused of a murder, and is sworn to by the dying man in fact, he is con- 
victed on the evidence of dying lips. The innocent man is imprisoned, 
and escapes as a convict. In " Taken from Life " a murder is committed, 
and an innocent man is accused of it, on the strongest circumstantial 
evidence. He is imprisoned, and escapes by means of the Clerkenwell 
explosion. But, after all, these incidents are common to dramatic literature 
all over the world. Situations for the stage are really as limited as the 
notes on a piano. It is the harmony that makes the success. Who can 
say that "Jonathan Bradford," the " Lights o' London," and "Taken from 
Life/' at all resemble one another, and yet unquestionably the same 
primary motive starts all these plays into action. 

The public will be surprised to learn that the Metropolitan Board of 
Works has instructed their Chairman to oppose in Parliament the Bill pro- 
moted by Mr. Dixon Hartland to free theatres, music-halls, and places of 
amusement generally all over the kingdom, from the tyranny of antiquated 
and obsolete legislation. Now, the Metropolitan Board of Works has 
about as much concern with the amusements of the people as the London 
School Board. This official interference in a matter that does not concern 
them in the least is a simple bit of officious fussiness that savours of unrea- 
soning and unreasonable tyranny. It is curious that whenever a body of 
representative vestrymen get hold of theatres, or anything resembling 
theatres, how disinclined they are to abandon their functions. Of recent 
years the Metropolitan Board of W r orks has been called on by the Lord 

APRIL 2, 1883.] O UR OMNIB US BOX. 2 5 1 

Chamberlain as a kind of quack doctor in connection with theatres and 
places of amusement, and on the whole has done far more harm than good. 
It was bad enough to be under the Lord Chamberlain and the magistrates ; 
it was worse when this complicated authority was aggravated by Theatre 
Committees at the Metropolitan Board of Works reporting to the Lord 
Chamberlain, and driving managers literally crazy. Mr. Dixon Hartland's 
measure, as has been repeatedly stated in these columns, is to do exactly 
what a committee of the House of Commons in 1866 recommended should 
be done. It is to wipe out ridiculous old Acts of Parliament of George II., to 
amend the theatrical Acts, to relieve the Lord Chamberlain, the magistrates, 
and the Metropolitan Board of Works, of functions which do not appertain 
to them in any way whatever, and to create one harmonious department 
at the Home Office, under the Home Secretary, in order to deal generally 
with the amusements of the people. It would be little less than a public 
scandal if the Metropolitan Board of Works were permitted to step forward 
and deliberately prevent free trade in connection with the amusements of 
the people. Mr. Dixon Hartland's measure has cut boldly at the root of 
the whole difficulty ; and the Metropolitan Board of Works, because it has 
been allowed to fuss over proscenium walls, and immaterial details, should 
not be allowed to prevent the people of this country from enjoying the 
amusements that are now prohibited by stale and antiquated legislation. 
As matters stand at present the Metropolitan Board of Works is impotent. 
It is only the hired servant or inspector of the Lord Chamberlain. It 
cannot shut up a disobedient theatre ; it can enforce no penalties ; it 
cannot, and should not, be allowed to organize the amusements of the hour. 
It cannot alter the present restrictive rules about smoking, and it has no 
more right to interfere with the freedom and progress of public amusements 
than the vestry of St. Martin's in the Fields or of St. Clement's in the Strand. 
W T hat we want is a Minister of State to deal with this question; not a 
committee of vestrymen, with interests not always wholly apart from the 

The Roscius Dramatic Club gave their third performance (fifth season) 
on Tuesday evening, January 23, at Ladbroke Hall, Netting Hill. 
The only piece presented was Lord Lytton's comedy, " Money." Mr. 
Percy F. Marshall's Alfred Evelyn was the feature of the piece ; acting 
with freedom, and speaking the lines with boldness and clearness of 
articulation, his rendering showed much careful study of the part. His 
portrayal of the character was marked with great ability and cleverness, all 
the more to be praised on account of the effort being well sustained 
to the finish. In the club-room scene he was particularly realistic and 
natural in the assumption of the air and mien of the reckless gamester. 
Mr. Conyers Norton, as Sir John Vesey, made up well and was good all 
round ; Mr. L. F. Bertram seemed ill at ease in the part of Lord Gloss- 
more, and the result was a very uneven performance ; Mr. T. E. Forster 
acted the empty-headed aristocrat with a fair amount of success ; Mr. H. 
S. Ram as the active and fussy politician, Stout, was clever; Mr. Arthur 
Shirley in the part of Graves showed much appreciation of the character, 

S 2 

252 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

keeping his audience in a continual state of merriment by his quaint 
allusions to the defunct " Sainted Maria" but he seemed somewhat to 
lose sight of the good side of Graves' character. Miss Kate Erlam 
exhibited effective acting as Clara Douglas, her quiet grace and easy style 
being especially brought out in the scenes with Evelyn, although the 
impersonation would have been much improved if she had infused a little 
more spirit into her acting. Miss Lottie Roberts, also, would have done 
much better if she had given more expression and emphasis to the 
character of Lady Franklin ; but on the whole she did very well, her scene 
with Graves being particularly good. Miss Laura Graves was an indif- 
ferent Georgina, quite under-acting the part. Messrs. Arthur Snow, E. G. 
Taylor, G. F. Gee, D. Stanley, J. C. Stevens, and A. Thompson com- 
pleted the cast. On the whole the characters worked together most 
harmoniously, showing signs of careful study of the different parts, and in 
some cases having evidently profited by the examples shown in the recent 
revival of the comedy on the professional stage. The piece was mounted 
very badly ; in fact, the scenery and furniture were quite unworthy of such 
a comedy. Miss Rose Dosell, as usual, presided with taste and skill at 
the piano, which did duty for an orchestra. The next performance of the 
Club is announced for an early date, and it would be as well, if the 
committee decide to have numbered and reserved seats, as on the occasion 
above noticed, that such seats be kept at the disposal of the ticket-holders 
at least a few minutes before the time the first piece is announced to 

On the 23rd of January Mr. G.Raiemond gave his second annual Dramatic 
Recital and Concert at Brixton Hall, Acre Lane, S.W. The programme 
was of a miscellaneous kind, and Mr. Raiemond was fortunate in obtaining 
the assistance of Mr. T. Swinbourne, the tragedian, who gave selections 
from " As You Like It" in his very best style, and, on being enthusiastically 
recalled, gave a scene from " Much Ado About Nothing" most effectively. 
Mr. Raiemond himself commenced with a rather sensational poem by Alfred 
Berlyn, entitled, " Coming Home," giving excellent effect to its pathetic 
parts. This he followed by Dickens' " Dancing Academy/' and Mark 
Twain's " Curing a Cold," from both of which he succeeded in extracting 
a great amount of humour and mirth. He also gave "The Midnight 
Charge" with much power and emphasis. Mr. Raiemond has a confident 
and easy style with a most natural manner, quietly funny and forcibly 
passionate ; rising to the occasion, when necessary, with fire and action. 
At the conclusion of each of his pieces he received a hearty recall. The 
musical part of the programme was in the hands of Miss E. Aloof and 
Miss Lizzie Evans, Messrs. F. Brown, Wakefield, Reed, and James Budd, 
.and the Luscinian Glee Club as vocalists. Mr. Turle Lee and Miss Alice 
Aloof were at the pianoforte. Miss Evans sung Blumenthal's " When the 
House is Still" in good voice and with much pathos, and Mr. Budd sang 
*' The Buccaneer," by Turle Lee, in such excellent style that an encore had 
to % be conceded, while the Luscinian quartette were as usual in splendid 
voice and met with a warm reception. On the whole a first class evening's 
entertainment was given. 

APRIL 2, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 253 

Miss Rose Seaton gave a Recital at the New Room, St. James' Hall, 
on February i. The programme included the oft-repeated "Never, 
never, never quarrel again" scene from " The School for Scandal/' " The 
Death of Nell," balcony scene from " Romeo and Juliet," selections from 
" The Belle's Stratagem," &c. &c. In the first piece Miss Seaton's choice 
was not a happy one ; her voice has not that flexibility necessary for such 
a piece, and the consequence was that she failed to mark with distinctness 
the characters represented in the celebrated scene. Moreover, a piece 
which is so often handled with skill by the very best artistes should not 
be attempted with impunity. In the u Death of Nell" Miss Seaton was 
much more at home, her voice being more suitable to the touching lines, 
which were rendered with feeling and pathos. The little piece, "Tired 
Mothers," was also given very nicely, but the programme in some respects 
was too ambitious. The recitations were relieved by solos on pianoforte 
and flute, given respectively by Herr Lehmeyer and Mr. H. Colonieu. 

At the Neumeyer Hall on Saturday, Feb. 10, Mr. George Beaumont re- 
cited the following pieces : " The Stowaway" (Clement Scott), " Christmas- 
day in the Workhouse" (G. R. Sims), " Dream of Eugene Aram " (Hood), 
"The Convict's Escape" (R. Henry), and " The Legend of Horatius" 
(Macaulay). Mr. Beaumont's efforts were marked with fair success, although 
they were occasionally marred by an ill-timed gesture or a little too great 
a struggle for effect. " The Convict's Escape," which, by the way, was 
arranged with musical accompaniment, and was one of the most successful 
of the pieces given, was rather spoilt by the necessary intervention of the 
voice of the prompter towards the end. In G. R. Sims' piece, and also 
in the time-honoured " Dream of Eugene Aram," Mr. Beaumont was very 
good. The reciter was assisted by the following vocalists : Madame L. 
Vernon, Mdlle. M. Vagnolini, Miss Laura Clare, Mr. J. Pietroni, Signor 
H. Frassini and Mr. Alfred Hervay ; while Misses H. and L. Goring and 
A. M. Bertram were at the pianoforte. Mdlle. Vagnolini's two songs were 
received most enthusiastically, and she deserved much praise for the 
excellent way in which they were rendered. 

The Philothespian Club gave a performance at St. George's Hall on 
Thursday, February 15, as usual for a philanthropic purpose, the charity 
on this occasion benefited being St. George's Day Nursery, Campden Hill, W. 
Sidney Grundy's " In Honour Bound" was first given, in which Mr. H. 
A. Stacke took the part of Sir George Carlyon, Q.C., M.P., in an easy, 
finished style, adapting himself to the character admirably. Mr. W. M. 
Waterton was not so successful as Philip Graham. He seemed nervous, 
and delivered his lines in a somewhat disjointed manner. Miss Grace 
Murray's Lady Carlyon was not at all an apt interpretation of the part. 
The voice assumed was a sort of mournfully tragic one, and was most 
depressing, quite a feeling of relief taking possession of the listener when 
she had finished speaking. She sadly misread the character. Miss Murray's 
performance is rather surprising, as, in a recent representation of " Pygma- 
lion and Galatea," she acquitted herself in a highly creditable manner. 

254 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

Miss Cruttenden has a very pleasing style, ancL as Rose Dalrymple, was 
bright and vivacious. The piece, being short, was played smoothly, and 
went very well. Gilbert's " Engaged" formed the second part of the pro- 
gramme, and in this Mr. J. H. Phillips did, as he has often done before, 
good service for the Club by his clever representation of the principal cha- 
racter of Cheviot Hill. Mr. Phillips' versatile spirit was brought fully into 
play, and he succeeded in keeping the fun going right through ; the peculiar 
flights of fancy he indulged in regarding the fair sex produced a continuous 
ripple of merriment throughout the house. Mr. H. Partridge rather suffered 
by comparison, but his rendering of the part of Belvawney was by no means 
perfect. Mr. F. Harley's Mr. Symperson was creditable, his make-up good. 
Mr. L. F. Austin and Mr. A. A. Wickens, as Angus Macalister and Major 
McGillicuddy respectively, filled the remaining male parts. Mrs. T. C. 
Collette, as the mercenary Belinda Treherne, was quietly forcible and 
natural. Miss Webster, as Minnie, was bright and clever, showing off to 
some advantage the charming simplicity of " Papa's Little Tom Tit." Miss 
Armstrong, capitally made up, was Mrs. Macfarlane, and Miss E. Rothsay, 
as the " puir loon lassie/' Maggie Macfarlane, assumed the necessary 
amount of artful innocence to make the character a success. The piece 
went fairly all through, the extravagantly ridiculous situations being empha- 
sized in such a manner as to sustain the amusement to the end. But, as is 
too often the case with amateurs, a late start was made, and the lost time 
increased so much that the final fall of the curtain did not take place 
until quite 11.40. It was announced that the funds of the charity for 
which the performance was given would benefit to the extent of about 

Mr. Frederick Wedmore, I see by the advertisements, says that " no per- 
formance of ' The Rivals' equal to that now given at the Vaudeville has 
been seen since the days when all the interest of the English stage was 
concentrated on a couple of play-houses." Well, the performance at the 
Vaudeville is a good one, good enough, I should have thought, to do 
without this sort of thing ; but unequalled since the days of Shuter and 
Woodward ! C'est raide ! 

Something less than a quarter of a century ago, at any rate, in the palmy- 
days of the old Haymarket Theatre, " The Rivals," as a regular stock-piece 
would be presented by the regular stock-company, like this, for instance : 
The Sir Anthony would be Chippendale ; his Captain, " Young Farren ;" 
his Sir Lucius, Brougham ; his Falkland, Howe ; his boy, " Little Clark ;" 
and his Acres, a certain Buckstone ; while Miss Stirling would appear for 
Lydia, and Mrs. Poynter for Mrs. Malaprop. Why, Richard Brinsley himself, 
could he but have revisited the footlights, would have had no fault to find 
with such a cast as that ! Where and when, I wonder, has Mr. Wedmore 
done his play-going that he is unacquainted with these matters ? 

On February ist Miss Alice Cruttenden gave a Recital at Stein way Hall, 
on which occasion she had the valuable assistance of Miss Cowen, whose 
pupil she is. The selections included " Two Gentlemen of Verona," 

APRIL 2> 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 255 

sc. 2, act i. ; " Cyril's Success," sc. 2, act ii. ; " Aunt Abigail's Adventure" 
by R. Henry ; Tennyson's " Rizpah," " George Lee," by Hamilton Ai'de, 
&c. &c. As an elocutionist Miss Cruttenden has some good points, 
which the pieces selected for recitation were calculated to bring out, but 
she has yet a great deal to learn. In the first two pieces mentioned above 
she was assisted by Miss Cowen, and in these scenes the little imperfections 
in the pupil were brought out rather rudely by comparison with the artiste. 
One of Miss Cruttenden's best efforts, if not the best, was in the little piece 
by Hamilton Ai'de, descriptive of the scene at a certain fire in which the 
hero loses his life in saving that of a woman. This was given with energy 
and power, and here and there a genuine touch of sympathy and feeling. 
The recitations were interspersed with songs by Miss Emma Allthsen and 
Mr. Isidore de Hara, accompanied by Mr. Algernon Lindo on the piano. 
Altogether, a short but excellent programme was well carried out. 

The little larmoyante play called "The Cape Mail," in which Mr. 
Kendal played so splendidly at the St. James's Theatre a few seasons ago, 
proved so successful in New York when recently acted by some amateurs at 
Chickering Hall, that Mr. Wallack has decided to produce it at his theatre 
in conjunction with Mr. Sidney Grundy's "Snowball," after the run of 
" The Silver King." 

I am asked to state that the annual series of Dramatic Performances in 
honour of Shakspeare's birthday will be held this year at the Memorial 
Theatre of Stratford-on-Avon, under the direction of Mr. Elliot Galer. 
For the purposes of this interesting occasion, Mr. William Creswick has 
been engaged, who will play for two weeks in the "Lady of Lyons," 
"The Merchant of Venice," "Macbeth," "Henry the Fourth," "The 
Honeymoon," " King Lear" (on Shakspeare's birthday), and " Richelieu/' 
Mrs. Charles Calvert assists Mr. Creswick in the enterprise. I cannot 
conceive a more delightful holiday trip than one to Stratford and the 
Shaksperian country between the i6th and 28th of April, when happily the 
sun will be shining, the spring flowers out, and this romantic neighbourhood 
looking at its very best. 

At the Mansion House, on March 16, the John Carpenter Club gave an 
interesting concert of old and new ballads, among the vocalists being Miss 
Rosa Leo, Miss Winn, Miss Headly, Mr. James and Mrs. Winn ; Mr. 
Whitcher giving some recitations, and Miss Okey some pianoforte selec- 
tions. Miss Leo's rich contralto was heard to advantage in "II Segreto," 
from " Lucrezia Borgia," in which opera, it will be remembered, she appeared 
with marked success at the Lyceum some months ago. Her rendering of 
" Charlie is my Darling" was distinguished by that dramatic sense which is 
such a rarely found quality in ballad singing. Mr. Albert James gave a 
song of Blumenthal's with great refinement, and Mr. Winn contributed some 
vigorous and pleasing ballads. 

Some flashes of Richard Wagner's quaint dry humour are perceptible in 
one of his own sketches of his boyish fancies, tastes, and ambitions. "When 

256 THE 7 HE A TRE. [APRIL 2, i88j. 

I was nine years old," he writes, " nothing pleased me so well as ' Frei- 
schuetz.' I often saw Weber pass our house as he came from rehearsal ; I 
ever contemplated him with sacred awe. My tutor, whose regular function 
it was to explain Cornelius Nepos to me, was obliged at last to consent to 
give me pianoforte lessons. As soon as I had mastered a few finger exer- 
cises, I set to work secretly and at first without the notes to learn the 
* Freischuetz' overture. One day my tutor happened to hear me practising, 
and observed that ' I should never do any good.' He was quite right ; all 
my life long I have never been able to learn to play the piano. However, 
I went on playing for my own sole pleasure nothing but overtures, and 

with the vilest fingering imaginable My musical occupations were, 

of course, secondary matters ; the chief ones were Greek, Latin, Mythology?' 
and Ancient History. I wrote poems, too. Once a schoolfellow died, and 
we boys were instructed by our master to write, each of us, a set of verses 
upon the death ; the best of all, he said, should be printed. Mine it was 
that obtained the honours of type, but not until I had pruned it of many 
excrescences. At that time I was eleven years old. Nothing would do, 
naturally, but I must become a poet. I therefore sketched out an enor- 
mous tragedy, made up of about equal parts of ' Hamlet' and ' King Lear.' 
The plot was really most tremendous. Forty-two human beings perished 
in the course of the piece, and I found myself compelled, in order to render 
a performance feasible, to bring most of my characters ' on' again as ghosts, 
as otherwise I should have been short of dramatis persona for my last two 
acts. I was busy with this play for two whole years. At school (Leipzig) 
I became idle and knavish. The only thing I cared for was my great 
tragedy. Beethoven's music to ' Egmont' stirred me so powerfully just then 
that I resolved not to bring out my play upon any account until it should 
be set to music of a similar character. I had perfect confidence in my own 
capacity to write the requisite music, but thought it might perhaps be as 
well, before beginning to compose it, to enlighten myself with respect to a 
few elementary laws of thorough-bass. To this end I borrowed Logiers 
' Method' for a week, and studied it eagerly, but not with such fruitful 
results as I had anticipated. The difficulties of counterpoint at once irri- 
tated and fascinated me : I resolved to become a musician." 

" Meanwhile my huge tragedy had been discovered by my family, and had 
profoundly saddened them by conclusively proving that I must have tho- 
roughly neglected my schoolwork on its account. Under these circumstances 
I held my tongue about my new vocation as a musician : but none the less 
did I furtively compose a sonata, a quartett, and an aria. As soon as I 
felt myself sufficiently matured by my self-imposed musical studies, I made 
full confession to my people, with whom I had hard battles to fight ; for 
they very naturally regarded my musical yearning as a passing passion all 
the more so as it certainly was not based upon any real preparatory study, or 

even upon a certain amount of faculty in playing upon any instrument 

Just then the July Revolution broke out ; instantly I became a revolu- 
tionist, and came to the conviction that a man possessed of a grain of energy 
cannot but be bound to occupy himself exclusively with politics. Forth- 

APRIL 2, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 257 

with I began an overture on a political subject, quitted school, and entered 
the University not to devote myself to the study of a ' Faculty,' for I felt 
myself dedicated to a musical career, but to pick up philosophy and 
aesthetics. I took no advantage whatsoever, however, of this opportunity 
to improve my education, but plunged into all manner of student excesses, 
with such frivolity and extravagance that I soon got sick of them. When 
I came to my senses again, I felt the necessity of recommencing my musical 
studies at the very beginning, and sticking to them sternly. Providence 
permitted me to light upon the right man to inspire me with new love for the 
art, and render it intelligible to me by fundamental instruction. That man 
was Theodor Weinlig. Under him I studied counterpoint, and learned to 
know and deeply love Mozart." 

Surely a very just complaint is made by the playgoers, who, before the 
piece of the evening, are condemned to sit out farces, comediettas, burlettas, 
operettas, or what not, of the most rubbishing description, and acted in a 
fashion at which even amateurs must laugh. Let us be just in this matter. 
The best and most fashionable theatres are the greatest sinners in this 
respect. Where the charges for seats are the highest there appears to be 
the greatest indifference as to what kind of stuff precedes the play upon 
which all attention has been bestowed. For instance, is it possible to 
conceive a more wretched rendering of "The Little Sentinel" than the 
one given at the Haymarket Theatre, as that was given on the first night 
of the reproduction of "Caste"? There was no particular demand for 
" The Little Sentinel/' and if it could not be better acted than that, of what 
value can it possibly be ? The piece is known by heart by every amateur 
in the kingdom, but it has seldom been so gratuitously murdered as at one 
of the first comedy theatres in the great metropolis. Visitors to the Court 
Theatre are certainly not treated to a more exhilarating entertainment, for 
surely "A Happy Return" ought to have been withdrawn the day after it 
was produced. If ever a little play failed to attract, that one most certainly 
did. As to " Mock Turtles" at the Savoy, it is a standing joke how any- 
thing of the kind can be permitted at a theatre where everything else is so 
extremely well done. When one-act plays like " Nance Oldfield," written 
by Charles Reade, are produced plays full of brightness, point, pungency 
and humour they quite startle our friends in the pit by their cleverness- 
Pittites wonder to themselves why more plays of the kind are not pro- 
duced, or why authors are not encouraged to write them. 

Such plays \vould be forthcoming by the dozen if managers would only 
abandon the penny wise and pound foolish policy of refusing to pay for 
more than one piece in the evening, or of hunting out the cheapest plays 
for the treasury instead of the most amusing plays for the public. I have 
before me a little volume of plays excellently suited for acting; they are by 
Mr. John Maddison Morton, the king of farce writers, the famous author of 
"Box and Cox," "A Regular Fix," "Betsy Baker," and who shall say how 
many more of the same laughable kind. The book is called " My Bachelor 
Days," and other plays, and it can be obtained from the Dramatic Authors' 

258 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

Society, or from Mr. French, the theatrical publisher in the Strand. In 
these days, when it is so hard to get an honest laugh, let us get as much 
of Maddison Morton as we can, who has set an example in the writing of 
comical dramatic dialogue that few have been able to follow. One sugges- 
tion more. We often hear of managers complaining that they have in their 
company actors and actresses who are walking about with nothing to do. 
Then let them walk upon the stage, and act to the people who have stood 
at pit and gallery doors and want to be amused. Pit and gallery demand 
the best, as well as the stalls and boxes, and it must be very disheartening 
to open an amusing evening with an entertainment derogatory to the 
meanest intelligence. 

In alluding last month to the German Athenaeum in Mortimer Street, its 
art encouragment, and that famous evening when the clever members gave 
a parody of the Belt trial before H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, I made a 
little slip. The judge who presided over this witty court was not Max 
Hecht, but Herr Heinrich Hertz, a most amusing comedian, and one of the 
best actors in the club. In fact, in the words of Mr. Gilbert, " he was a 
judge, and a good judge too." As usual, most of the laughter in court was 
suggested from the bench. Max Hecht was the counsel for Mr. Goedecker, 
sculptor and caricaturist in chief, and wrote the parody in collaboration 
with Heinrich Hertz. May all our evenings be as merry as those spent at 
the German Athenaeum. 

On all sides I hear excellent accounts of the acting of Miss Cissy 
Graham as Mrs. Denver in "The Silver King," now travelling round the 
provinces. This clever young lady has only hitherto been known in London 
as an ingenue, but she has suddenly developed a strong power of emotional 
expression, which will be invaluable in romantic and domestic characters. 

Mr. Charles Wyndham is certainly a lucky man to have secured the 
English right of a most amusing play called " Tete de Linotte," originally 
produced at the Vaudeville Theatre, in Paris, and now occasionally played 
at matinees during the run of "Fedora." It is written by Theodore Barriere, 
and is certainly one of the most amusing things of the kind that an 
ingenious and witty dramatist has ever conceived. There is nothing 
offensive at all in the matter of the play, and the manner of it will put the 
greatest of the Criterion successes into the shade. In the second act the 
stage is divided, half into the common staircase of a flat in Paris, half 
into the interior of a bachelor apartment ; and the manner in which all the 
characters are either hiding in the room, or scuttling up and down the 
staircase, is exquisitely ludicrous. For a wonder, too, the last act is almost 
as good as the first and second: the fun is kept up to the very end. 
The acting in Paris is wonderfully good. Such a hare-brained, excitable 
creature as Alice Legault, the flighty wife, who falls in love with her husband's 
clerk; such a dry, pompous, but wicked-eyed old husband as Michel; such 
a mild, meek, flustered young lover as Corbin, all belong to the first line 
of comic art. But the parts could be as well played here, if not better, by 
Miss Nelly Bromley, Mr. Biakeley, and Mr. Charles Wyndham. And 

APRIL 2, i833.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 259 

then the fascinating Portuguese, at the roll of whose fascinating eye the 
ladies are supposed to collapse, the foreign and fantastic "Masher" of 
Lisbon, who is played with such harmless exaggeration by Francis in 
the hands of Mr. Herbert Standing this droll character would be immense. 

The modern matinee is the unwholesome outcome of the craze that has 
befallen society since Mrs. Langtry made a temporary success as an actress. 
Every impecunious person thinks himself or herself capable of making a 
fortune on the stage when the ordinary chances of life are played out or 
obliterated. Scarcely a week passes but the public are summoned to see 
the feeble and immature efforts of vain women, who have at least some 
excuse for their excessive ambition, and vainer men, who are so steeped in 
egotism that reason appears to have temporarily deserted them. Such per- 
formances are from first to last worthless. They may suit the dramatic 
coach or trainer ; they may please the fussy ladies who patronize the stage 
and manufacture benefits ; they may be convenient to the hangers-on of 
amiable incompetency but, as a test of talent, they are childish and 
absurd. Genius is not a purchaseable commodity, but genius alone of an 
extraordinary kind would warrant the overflow of these budding Juliets, 
these feeble Romeos, these wearisome Julias, and these sucking Claudes, 
who have tested the patience of their friends and naturally provoked the 
severity of all who have made a study of the stage. Acting cannot be 
learned in a day or a week it cannot be mastered by a course of lessons 
from any master without they are supplemented by hard work and inces- 
sant practice. It will certainly be a bad day for the stage when for want 
of a better word amateurishness is allowed to get a footing on the legi- 
timate stage. There is far too much of it floating vaguely about just now 
far too much of it encouraged and petted, and unquestionably there is as 
much attention paid to flabby feebleness as there is to sound, hearty and 
robust work. Amateurs are no doubt all very well in their way. They are 
harmless enough in their own circles, and they only borrow a reflected light 
from the egotism that is inseparable from the dramatic calling. Indirectly 
amateurs encourage a love for the theatre ; there are no more constant 
playgoers in existence than your self-satisfied amateurs. 

That amateurs should like to go upon the stage is no doubt natural 
enough, but, if they do so, why not submit to the trying ordeal of a regular 
public performance, instead of being forced forward to an unwholesome 
growth by the forcing-house or conservatory process of a matinee packed 
with effusive friends, who are obviously insincere. These people fool the 
amateur, or the amateur turned actor, to the top of his bent. They tell 
him he can play anything, do anything, rival any actor or actress who 
ever lived, until at last the poor victim is led to believe that it is true. The 
stalls of our metropolitan theatres swarm with detached outposts of mutual 
admiration societies. Suddenly comes the day when the bubble bursts. 
The actor or actress tries some part for which they are ludicrously incom- 
petent. The truth is told, and they receive the least pity from those who 
have flattered them in the most slavish manner. The stage is open to 
any one, rich as well as poor, but the possession of a testimonial of compe- 

26o THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

tency, signed by society, does not relieve the actor from the necessity oi 
hard and determined application. 

ONLY a murmur, as the actor died, 

From parted lips, yet ripe with laughter, crept. 
He wept not for the fading past, nor sigh'd 

To leave the present : as we watch'd he slept. 
The old, sad smile, softer than any song, 

Came back for one short moment, as the cage 
Of life was closing ; then he spoke : "They're wrong! 

" The wrong side of the stage !" 

Old, dying friend ! were you then wandering 

Back to the busy scenes of industry ? 
Was it some melody you tried to sing, 

Or happy memory was passing by? 
Did you desire, half-dreaming, to prolong 

The fancies of a lifetime, and enjoy, 
Once more in recollection, moaning, " Wrong ! 

" The wrong side of the stage ?" 

Or was it yes, it must have been old friend, 

Bright golden mirrors you were looking through ? 
When all desire of life was at an end 

Visions of happiness appeared to you, 
And as your tired thoughts were borne along, 

From merry childhood to advancing age, 
You thought of those you left, and said, " They're wrong ! 

" The wrong side of the stage !" C. S. 

I cannot conceive a more delightful companion these winter nights over 
a warm fire, and solaced by the pipe of peace, than Mr. Dutton Cook's new 
volume, or rather two volumes, called " Nights at the Play" (Chatto & 
Windus). It takes us back through the fields of memory to fifteen years 
of playgoing with all their change, romance, and adventure, and gives us as 
complete and accurate a record of the story of the stage between 1857 and 
1882 as could well be found. Here we can find tersely related the plots 
of the various plays we have enjoyed, here we can renew our acquaintance 
with the actors and actresses engaged in them, and so firm and judicial is 
Mr. Dutton Cook's style, so little is his judgment biassed by prejudice, or 
coloured by impetuosity that he is able fearlessly to reprint his criticisms just 
as they originally stood without any fear of the consequences that ensue 
from interfering with the natural vanity of the player. Speaking in a 
certain measure ex cathedrd, I can safely say that it is one of the most 
unselfish books ever published, for here Mr. Cook presents to the critics 
of the future the vast stores of his accumulated knowledge and deep 
reading, thereby enabling them at a very little trouble to become as wise 
as he is himself. This is scarcely the place to discuss the value of the 

APRIL 2, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 261 

author as a critic. His style is well-known to all who are interested in the 
stage, his judgment carries great weight, and he is held in universal esteem- 
Quite apart, however, from individual opinion, this book, however, has 
great value from the fruits of Mr. Button Cook's reading that are stored 
up in these neat yet comprehensive volumes. Whenever a Shaksperian 
play or old comedy happens to be discussed we find here the essence of 
what the best writers have written on the subject, and as government 
officials would call it a precis such as no other living writer can give when 
discussing dramatic matters. Mr. Button Cook is unequalled in the art of 
dramatic precis writing, and it is astounding what a fund of information he 
can contract into a paragraph, and what concentrated thought is conveyed 
in a sentence. The book is well indexed both nominally and by subjects ; 
it will be interesting to such as take it up only to while away an idle 
moment, and to live in the past again ; to the dramatic library it is 
absolutely invaluable. Now, if my dear old friend Mr. E. L. Blanchard 
would only complete the gap between the end of Geneste (1830) and 1857 
when Mr. Button Cook begins, our dramatic history would be complete. 
Professor Morley's journal of a London playgoer from 1851 to 1866 is 
unfortunately out of print, and then, again, it was never published with an 
index; at any rate, E. L. Blanchard and Button Cook might join forces 
and meet half way between 1830 and 1857, so as to perfect the complete 
dramatic record. 

Under its new President, the new Primate, the " National Society for 
Preserving the Memorials of the Bead" will begin its year's work well by 
the restoration of that " forlorn hicjacei" in the Eastern Perambulatory of the 
Cloisters at Westminster, beneath which for some hundred and thirty-five 
years Anne Bracegirdle has lain at rest. The Church keeps green the 
memory of saints less real than she, I trow ; for though, as Leigh Hunt 
once said, " her very name sounds like a Venus," Mrs. Bracegirdle was a 
Saint of the Stage indeed, when such a thing was phenomenal, a Biana 
amongst Banae's, a Gibraltar of virtue that baffled and beat all and ever 
its besiegers. 

A cold-blooded calculating coquette, Macaulay has set her down in one 
of his off-hand ipse-dixits ; they who knew her better have left a different 
judgment upon record. Cold-blooded, quotha ! That glowing brunette, 
who, " whenever she exerted herself had an involuntary flushing in her 
neck and face ;" she whose " lovely height/' and dark brown hair and eye- 
brows, black sparkling eyes, fine white teeth, and famous " fresh blushy 
complexion" enthused the cynic Aston himself as he described them ; she 
whose beauty was so sympathetic that she never made an exit " but she 
left the audience in an imitation of her pleasant countenance ;" a woman of 
this sort would hardly have found " virtue" come constitutionally to her aid 
under temptation. 

And as for " the universal passion," her temptations must have been of 
the strongest. Now it was the " most fragrant" Robert Leke, Earl of Scars- 

262 THE THEATRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

dale, who was sighing like a furnace for her, more than half inclined to 
publicly and bigamously espouse the Dame, and say, well, say, Confound 
the Town. Then it was John Lovelace Jack with his familiars of Hurley, 
co. Berks, fourth Baron. Or it was a greater than Jack perchance William 
Cavendish, in his blue riband, with the blushing honours of his new duke- 
dom thick upon him. Or it was another K.G., and the future father of 
another Duke it was Charles Sackville who came and played his innings ; 
or it was my Lord Halifax, or my Lord Burlington. Who was it not ? 

The labour of what all these distinguished personages were pleased to 
call their love, was, as they were all fain to admit by-and-by, but so much 
labour lost The resistance they encountered was always effective, and the 
rather effective that it was always quite frank and good-humoured. This 
saint had nothing of the Sainte Nitouche about her. Diana knew so well 
how to take care of herself that she could be merry with an Actseon, as well 
as wise. This is how, for instance, she served Charles Boyle, Earl of 
Burlington, one day. 

He had sent her that day with a billet doux to introduce it a present 
of old Nankin, so old and so precious, indeed, that to have accepted it 
would have been to be compromised. On the other hand, to return it to its 
donor was by no means in accordance with Diana's notion of the eternal 
fitness of things. What was she to do ? How wickedly her eyes must have 
sparkled as she decided. This is what she did. She called up my lord's 
servant, and demurely told him that there had been a little mistake. The 
letter, indeed, he had brought was for her ; but .... but the china was for 
my lady, his mistress, to whom he must please carry it, as from my lord. 
To whom, accordingly,, he did so carry it. " And," says Walpole, " the 
Countess was so full of gratitude when her husband came home to dinner !" 
The expression of the Right Honourable Charles Boyle's countenance, 
when he encountered his Juliana's gratitude across that dinner-table, must 
have been quite worth seeing. 

The Bracegirdle lived to be eighty-five (1663 to September 14, 1718). 
Did she always manage to hold her own ? Did never a cunning fencer 
of them all get inside her guard? Did the heart so many bled for 
never bleed for anybody? What would you have? She was but a 
woman, though a true one and a good one, after all. Once in her 
life, I take it, she was in love, and with one man always unto her life's 
end, albeit she survived him some twenty years. He was the wrong man, 
of course. He was a wit, as brilliant and as hard as the " white diamond 
ring'' he bequeathed to little Lady Mary Godolphin. He was a heart- 
less, sickly, selfish, finnikin, fine gentleman ; an acquisitive Secretary for 
Jamaica, Commissioner of Hackney Coaches, and Commissioner of Wine 
Licenses. He was William Congreve, Esq., who owed his ^1,200 a-year 
of sinecures to that stage-work his fine-gentlemanship in after years 
affected to despise. 


Congreve had made love to the Bracegirdle in all his pieces. It was 
he, she was to understand, and not Mr. Williams, who was the real 
Vainlove to her Araminta, he, and not Mr. Betterton, who was the 
Valentine to her Angelica, and the Osmyn to her Almeria ; he, and not 
Mr. Verbruggen, who was the Mirabel to her Millamant. So, nothing 
loth, one may suppose, the Bracegirdle understood it. But, by-and-by, 
there was another understanding, and a more definite one, to be come to 
between Mr. Congreve in his proper person and Mrs. Bracegirdle in hers. 
What had she been expecting ? That he would ask her to marry him ? 
Alas ! the author of " The Way of the World" was quite ready to " adore" 
her, as he had been to adore Anne Jellat or Madame Berenger, or his 
"angel," Mrs. Hunt. But he craned at matrimony. Instead, he pre- 
ferred that platonic intimacy with " the young Duchess," Henrietta of 
Marlborough, the wife de par le monde of " that cypher/' as Chesterfield 
called sleepy Francis, second and last Earl of Godolphin. 

Diana must have had a bad time before she broke with her unworthy 
William. Here was the greatest temptation she had known, for she loved 
this man. She took the right way out of temptation, though. " Pious 
Belinda,"'sneered Mr. Congreve, 

" Pious Belinda goes to prayers." 

It was almost enough to exorcise such a lover as he was. Yet he had his 
hopes, in spite of the prayers. The tender fool was in tears at the very 
thought of his leaving her. But of more than her tears even he could not 
beguile her. He has given us his own word for that. " Would," cries this 
exasperated soupirant at last, when the situation had become intolerable, 

"Would I were free from this restraint, 

Or else had power to win her ! 
Would she could make of me a saint, 
Or I of her a sinner !" 

Upon the joint impossibility they parted. He went to dine with his 
Duchess ; she to look after her poor pensioners in the slums about Clare 

Rowe the Laureate of the first George he, too, they say, had a tendre for 
the Bracegirdle, and " insinuated his addresses" also, through the medium 
of his stage characters. W T hen she played Selima in his " Tamerlane," Mr. 
Rowe's feelings were supposed to be expressed by Axalla. When she 
enacted Lavinia, the author of "The Fair Penitent," spoke "at" her through 
Horatio. And so on. But when Mr. Rowe spoke the language of love 
upon his own account, Nicholas appears to have been econduit rather 

Then he avenged himself by a lampoon, in which he styled Diana "a 
Drab," and averred that her father kept the "Saracen's Head" at 

264 THE THE A TRE. [APRIL 2, 1883. 

Northampton. Curiously enough, though, this same lampooner, in this 
same lampoon, becomes, in spite of himself, a witness for the woman he 
had sat down to insult, and tells us of the proffers large of jewels, plate, and 
land in fee, which she had with scorn rejected. 

Also, that assertion of Mr Rowe's concerning the landlord of the 
" Saracen's Head" has not been allowed to pass uncontradicted. On his 
side, a commentator avers that Diana's father was " Justinian Bracegirdle, 
of Northants, Esquire, who ruined himself, amongst other ways, by 
becoming surety for some friends ;" not a very publican-like weakness, one 
would think. 

Dorset, Devonshire, and the rest of that set, were men of another 
kidney. When they were beaten they toasted the defence. The virtue 
that could resist them filled them with honest admiration. And it was 
not long before their admiration assumed that practical shape which has 
been apt, at most times, and in most matters, to commend itself to English- 
men. One night Charles Montagu suggested that they might do some- 
thing better than go on emptying bumpers in the lady's honour. Suppose 
they made up a purse, and presented it to her as a tangible token of their 
appreciation? And Halifax put down a couple of hundred guineas to start 
the subscription. It was a queer notion, but it took. The two hundred 
was very soon quadrupled, and the next morning the Bracegirdle was 
presented with perhaps the most solid and unique testimonial to her private 
worth that an English actress ever received. 

The Easter amusements all occurred too late for proper detailed notice 
in this number of the Magazine. But just before closing the number, 
I may state that amongst the really good things, and thoroughly well 
worth seeing, will be found the Snow Ballet at Her Majesty's Theatre, 
heightened in beauty and poetical significance by the appearance of 
^Enea, and the admirable dancing of Mdlle. Theodore de Gillert a born 
expressionist and of Mdlle. Consuelo de la Brujere, a new dancer the 
charming singing and acting of Miss Florence St. John, who is once more the 
talk of all London, in the new opera, " La Belle Lurette," at the Avenue ; 
and the acting of Mr. John Clayton, Miss Marion Terry, and Mr. Philip Day, 
in Mr. Pinero's curious play, called " The Rector," at the Court Theatre. 
I shall be astonished if all these things are not universally admired. 

When melodrama has had its day, romantic drama is likely to come 
to the front again. It will be a welcome change ; and a good play, a 
really sound and effective play of the " Duke's Motto" order, would be 
very welcome. This reminds me that Mr. Kyrle Bellew is a most promis- 
ing candidate for first honours as a romantic actor. He has already 
appeared as Ruy Bias in the provinces with conspicuous success, and 
" Ruy Bias," if well done, would be very popular in London. Will any 
one ever forget Fechter's last act in " Ruy Bias" who ever saw it ? That 
was the perfection of picturesque drama. 


May, 7555, 

" Talma and the Dramatic Art." 

IV /T ^" IRVING has earned once more the gratitude of the 
** theatrical world and of the stage-loving people by 
publishing, for the second time, the translation of Talma's 
"L'Art theatral." 

Whether it is repugnant to unveil to profane eyes the hidden 
recesses of their heart wherefrom tragic inspiration springs forth, 
great actors have but rarely given us the benefit of their laborious 
scrutinies into the working of our moral mechanism. They who 
not only portray passions but create them within themselves 
have not yet told us how those tempests arise that stir the soul 
so deeply, nor whence come the tears and thrills which a great 
thought, a beautiful sound alone, will evoke within us. As a 
result, while the action of the brain seems to have unfolded to 
physiologists all its mysteries, the anatomy of the heart is still 
shrouded in darkness. 

It is a matter of regret that Talma should not have placed his 
great sagacity and keen observation to the service of such a 
study, and should have confined his task to the elaboration of a 
code of tragic acting. As such, however, Talma's pamphlet 
though, it must be owned, the present translation does it but scant 
justice will fill a broad gap in the literature of the stage. Other 
arts have their methods, their principles, their code of beauty. 
The dramatic art alone remains without any defined laws. Hence 
the unconscious despotism which traditions and great actors have 
always wielded over the less gifted ones, who, in the absence of 
all ruling spirit, resign themselves servilely to copy their masters 
in their every attitude, intonation, and defect. 


266 THE THE A TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

To these Talma should specially commend himself, for he is 
the very impersonation of revolt against tyrannical traditions 
and imitation. With him, they will learn to repudiate masters, 
and accept but one model Nature ; Nature in her simplicity ; 
to reject the charlatanisms and claptraps of the art ; in fine, 
whatever their effort be, to produce a true effect. They will 
disdain vile plaudits, obtained by unnatural and intemperate 
contrasts of sounds, or by forced attitudes, "caviare to the 
general," to use Shakespeare's words ; and they will endeavour to 
beget that temperance in the very whirlwind of passion which is 
nectar to the refined whose verdict alone confers greatness. 

He will remind them also, that fame is only the reward of the 
most painstaking labour, and though the born-genius of a Garrick 
may conquer her, she keeps her smiles for those who unsparingly 
put an earnest intelligence and true feeling to the service of their art. 
jLe Kain was a striking illustration of fond devotion to his art, and 
though refused by Nature most of the gifts required to form a 
great actor, he has left a name which will ever shine in the annals 
of French tragic art. It is said with truth that faith can remove 
mountains ; it is no less true that she, and she alone, can arm the 
young against the bitter struggles, the rancours, and the cruel 
jealousies of stage-life. Talma will inspire them with that con- 
quering faith, by showing her triumphs and her rewards. Take away 
that faith, acting offers but a discoloured image of Nature ; but 
with her the horizons of the art are widened, it ascends to the 
same lofty level as other arts ; for they have all but one common 
end, to " hold the mirror up to Nature" with her whole array of 
passions, fierce, tender and low, from Macbeth to Ariel, down to 
Falstaff, the demon, the angel, the buffoon. In that region all 
arts are equal, but if one is truer, more closely reflecting Nature's 
own features, more universal than the others, it is the dramatic 

Yet what cruel and unreasonable prejudices still oppress the 
theatric profession ! Is it not at once puzzling and monstrous 
that, in this classic land of fairness and justice which more than 
a century ago buried Garrick in Westminster Abbey, close to the 
greatest of her poets, the mere fact of interpreting the grandest 
monuments of man's genius should class an actor in a kind of 
social Bohemia ? Why is it that he who cultivates an art which 
is so intimately connected with all that is noble and beautiful, he 


who procures to us our loftiest enjoyments, should be deprived 
of the consideration which the intelligent or simply successful 
merchant, the Government clerk, any man in any walk of life, can 
attain ; let him play his part as an honest man on and off the 
stage, that consideration will always be grudged to the actor. 

Builders of theatres, painters of theatres, managers of theatres, 
those who write good pieces, those who write bad ones, carry with 
them their brevet of respectability, but not he who plays those 
same pieces. Royal dukes consent readily enough to play the 
violin on the stage in public ; but to play of that other, not 
less beautiful, instrument, the human heart, would be derogatory 
indeed ! 

Young men : be clerks, be tutors, be penny-a-liners, be second 
or third fiddle in the orchestra even, but go no farther go not 
beyond that curtain, on which an unseen hand has engraved 
Dante's damning lines : 

Through me you go to the city of tears, 
Through me you go to eternal pain, 
Through me you go to the land of the damned ; 
Abandon all hope, ye who enter. 

Napoleon the Great, bold as he was, had but one fit of timidity 
in his life, and that with regard to the great Talma, whom he 
affectioned deeply : " I would knight him," did he once say, " if I 
dared ;" while, at the same time, he was knighting manufac- 
turers, architects, painters, soldiers, and doctors. Napoleon would 
repeat himself even now, for our prejudices have remained un- 
shaken, and public gratitude is as slow as ever in acknowledging 
the great services rendered to art by great actors. 

Well, we protest against this iniquity, and say that it has had, 
and will have as long as it lasts, the most fatally lowering effects 
on that noble art, by excluding from it much of the elite lettre'e, 
who, were it not for that fear of losing caste, would give the stage 
the benefit of rich intellects and elevated feelings. 

As things are, how many really lettered gentlemen can the 
present stage boast of ? The question is best left unanswered. 

Is it then to be wondered at that, while we can count painters, 
sculptors, composers by the score, who have illustrated mankind 
and their art, we find comparatively so few actors whose names 
have passed to posterity ? 

It is no answer to say that the actor's work dies with him, for 
the best part of man's glory is built on the verdict of that generation 

T 2 

268 THE THE A TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

who has seen his work ; and when Dr. Johnson, re-echoing the 
universal testimony of his time, writes : lt Garrick has never found, 
and never will find, his equal;' posterity recognizes, to a great 
extent, the truth of the judgment. Tragedy in France will ever 
be associated with Talma. Malibran, Rubini, Lablache will ever 
shine in the golden book of lyric art ; and so long as there are 
violins the name of Paganini will endure. Of these great inspired 
ones none has left any work behind, but like certain meteors, 
who after wandering through our skies with a blinding brilliancy, 
suddenly disappear into other firmaments, there to find their 
resting-place among hidden stars, they keep shedding on the earth 
their soft and warm glow. The names just mentioned, and a few 
others, would complete the list of the great actors whose names will 
be handed down through ages. 

We know well that Nature is no more prodigal of great actors 
than she is of great poets ; we know the multiplicity of gifts, 
physical and moral, inborn and acquired, which art demands of a 
great actor ; yet we cannot but think that through the self-imposed 
abstention of a host of polished and well-read men, the stage must 
have been deprived of many talented men who would most 
probably have added much to its greatness. 

Athens selected among her best citizens the actors who were to 
play the tragedies of her poets at the Olympic games ; would that, 
by the removing of our blind notions, the door of the playhouse 
were made wide open to our best citizens ; and we venture to 
believe that recruits would not be wanting to answer the call, for 
the stage has fascinations of its own which no other art can offer. 
There is a kind of rapturous delight for some buoyant spirits in ex- 
panding and radiating ; an ardent flame burns within them which 
tends to spread and consume all around them. Nor can any other 
art better satisfy the thirst of the ideal which torments such natures ; 
but a stroke of the wings, and their spirits soar above in the skies. 

The Due de Guines, the then French ambassador in London, 
on a visit to his friend, Lord Hedgecombe, at Twickenham, 
happened once to meet Garrick, who was there as one of the 
household. Garrick was having tea, and intently occupied 
spreading some butter on a slice of bread. After being intro- 
duced, the ambassador seated himself, and gazed for some time 
with an expression of mingled surprise and disappointment at the 
appearance of the modern Roscius. 


" Ah !" exclaimed the actor, " Garrick with his bread and 
butter is rather a disappointment for your Excellence ?" 

" No, indeed," replied the Duke. " I was only comparing him 
in my mind to the Garrick of Hogarth as Richard III., dagger in 

" In truth," Garrick proceeded, " painters flatter us. They see 
us as we are on the stage ; they give us fine attitudes, and looks 
of kings. When we are ourselves again, we appear small and 
vulgar compared to our portraits." 

Thus speaking, Garrick rose up. A sudden flash of terrible 
anger spread over his features, and transfigured him. His brow 
was knit, the eyes were in flames, the lips quivered, the hair 
bristled ; his very stature seemed to have risen to six feet. The 
image of Garrick had vanished away : it was Hogarth's 
Richard III. that stood there. 

This faculty of abstracting oneself is essentially of the 
domain of the dramatic art. A sculptor, while modelling a 
figure, cannot divest himself altogether of his own nature ; he 
pursues a fugitive image within himself, and invests it with what 
grace and beauty his mind can receive and reflect. The actor's 
mind does not receive or reflect ; it creates ; it acts, and carries 
him (unconscious, we might almost say) through the fictions of 
the poet. 

Garrick's singular power of abstraction will be furthermore 
illustrated by the following anecdote. While in Paris he fre- 
quently rode out with Preville, an eminent French actor of the 
day, and both actors whiled away the time by mimicking various 
characters or parts. Preville had just finished a mimic of a 
drunken man on horseback. 

" Well done," said Garrick ; " but legs also should show 
drunkenness. A drunken man says, ' I am the sun ; the world 
is all turning round about me.' He loses the stirrups ; his legs 
float inert alongside of the horse ; his spurs belabour the animal ; 
his hat tumbles off; he drops his whip; his body is rocked 
to the right and the left, forward and backward. He comes 
at last to a high stone wall." While thus discoursing, 
Garrick had been suiting word to action, and acting the 
part through, when they came to the stone wall. " He 
wonders what on earth that wall is doing there, and he is 
determined he shall pass through it." Here Garrick made a 

2;o THE THE A TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

dash at the wall, when the horse reared back and threw his rider 
off on to the ground. 

Garrick was not only reflecting the image of a drunken man, 
but was to all intents and purposes as drunk as he meant to re- 
present him to be. 

Rubini affords another instance of this extraordinary faculty of 
dividing mind and soul in two, so to speak. Asked at a gather- 
ing of friends to sing, he consented on the condition that he 
could sing in an adjoining room where card-playing was going 
on, his hearers remaining outside. He then sang the cavatina of 
the third act of the " Sonnambula" 

" II pui tristo frai mortali." 

And all eyes were filled with tears, so touching was the rendering. 
When at the end his friends came up to express to him their 
admiration, they were amazed to find him seated at the card- 
table, where he had been playing through the whole of the 
cavatina. This effort of mental division was, he confessed, the 
most painful he had experienced. 

Fanny Kemble held the stage in horror ; plaudits offended her, 
her name on a bill was an insult to her ; but no sooner had she 
set foot on the boards than she was seized by tragic inspiration, 
as if intoxicating vapours had sprung forth from beneath her. 

Strange indeed are such natures puzzles to the closest 
scrutiny ! They possess, as it were, two souls ; the one attached 
to this earth, the other inhabiting the azure space of fiction. By 
fiction, we do not mean fantasy more or less shadowy and unreal. 
To the great actor truth must be the very essence of fiction, and 
so great is his craving for it that he often submits himself to moral 
tortures to attain it. Theodorus, the great Greek actor, when 
playing in the " Electra" of Sophocles, would substitute for the 
urn supposed to contain the ashes of Orestes, the urn containing 
the remains of his own son, thus laying bare his own sore heart 
to bring forth accents of true sorrow. Talma, on learning the 
news of the death of his deeply beloved child, caught in the glass 
the. image of his pain-stricken face, and, amid sobs, exclaimed 
" Would to God this expression of sorrow would imprint itself on 
my features ;" and he confessed that ever after, when he had to 
act intense pain and despair, he would evoke the image of his 
departed child. 

In the presence of such deeds of heroism, we think sculptors 

MAY i, 1883.] LITTLE BET. 271 

and painters insult tragedy and comedy by representing her 
always masked. On these summits she has no mask she shows 
us her plain features. 

Those who wear a mask, those who travesty themselves, are 
elsewhere than on the stage. It is comedy that exposes them, 
and, in conclusion, we hope the time is near when she will destroy 
that last of our social masks, our prejudices which have too long 
oppressed her. E. A. MATHIEU. 

Little Bet. 


'T^IS a year just to-day, John, we lost little Bet, 

JL An' aw cannot help cryin' a bit, 
For there's mony a time aw feel lonely an' fret, 

When thou'rt gone to thi work at the pit ; 
An' the snow keeps a falling on yon little grave, 

Till it does seem so selfish and hard 
For us two to be here, snug i' comfort at home, 

An' her laid i' that cruel churchyard. 

Sich a bright, bonny babby as noan nivver see r d, 

Wi' her nice little cuddlin' ways, 
John, if thou'd been a drinker aw'm sure aw'd ha' dee'd 

For mi love for that bab wur a craze ; 
Them snowflakes fall heavy an' cold on my heart, 

When aw feel that they're fallin' on her, 
Tho' aw know 'at it's foolish to take it like that, 

Still aw fret till aw hardly con bear. 

T'other childer is good uns, but both on 'em's lads, 

Tho' aw love 'em for that noan the less, 
Still aw felt as if Johnny an' Jim were their dad's, 

An' that this one were mine to caress ; 
'Twur a new soort o' care, an' a new soort o' pride, 

Were this bright little cuddlin' girl, 
Different cloas to mak', summat gentler to bide, 

An' sich nice little ringlets to curl. 

272 THE THEATRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

An' aw reckoned hoo'd grow up a fine, stirrin' lass, 

One as thou'd ha' been proud on, my lad, 
An' ha' helped me at home, while the lads were at work 

I' the pit, takin' share wi' their dad ; 
But it were not to be, an' aw'm silly to cry, 

Though hoo were sich a sweet, pretty gem, 
For them lads is sich rosy an' healthful young romps 

Aw must larn to be grateful for them. 

Think like that, Mary, lass, weren't aw crazy mysel 

When yon chilt took the fever an' died ? 
But aw see'd thou were crushed more than ever thou'd tell, 

And it browt me still nearer thi side ; 
Aw were crazed o'er our Bet but aw were frightened for thee, 

For aw couldn't lose both, bonny wife, 
An' when thou took the fever, an' bid fair to dee, 

How aw worked aw can't think for mi life. 

But thou pulled bravely through, an' when th' lads did so beg 

To come whoam from their granny's to thee, 
An' aw see'd thy lost look, when thou miss'd little Bet, 

When them lads cried, their mammy to see ; 
An' aw know'd thou were cryin', wi' th' lads i' thi arms, 

For the little lass gone to her rest, 
An' aw bent down an' kiss'd thee, an' begged thee be strong 

For my sake an' the lads on my breast. 

Dunnot fret thee, my Mary, aw'm steady an' true, 

An' my heart beats wi' thine i' thy grief, 
Come sit closer by me, an' aw'll kiss them sweet tears, 

For they bless thy poor heart wi' relief; 
Tho' the snowflakes are fallin' on yon little grave, 

Where we laid her a year since to-day, 
Little Bet does not heed them, but prays for us both, 

Where the sun shines for ever and aye. 


MAY i, 1883.] THE LAST OF " CASTE." 273 

The Last of "Caste." 

FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 1883. 

A MORE "inexorable law" than that on which Captain 
Hawtree will wax Mephistophilean no more the law 
which decrees all things must have an end has decreed the end 
of " Caste ;" and, so far as the original holders of the acting rights 
are concerned, upon the most happily conceived, the most 
brilliantly interpreted, the most perennially popular little play in 
the Robertsonian repertory, the curtain has come down for ever. 

It fell with all the honours. The changes and chances of this 
mortal life have not spared to us the little company for whom the 
piece was originally written, and some names, alas ! stand to the old 
parts no longer. Yet the new Eccles provoked Homeric 
laughter. The new Marquise was a famous artist of the old 
school, which is the good school, and the new Esther was the 
best Esther seen since the first widow of the first George wore 
the weeds in Tottenham Street. And then, there was still the 
first and only Hawtree, still the alpha and omega of Follies, and, 
once more, her own original Gasman come back loyal as ever to 
the love he vowed her sixteen years ago. 

To see the last of these old favourites in the characters which, 
in their hands, have grown to be the leading characters in the piece, 
such an audience as the new Haymarket has not yet held, packed 
the theatre from floor to ceiling. The customary atmosphere of 
the place a serene atmosphere of polite pococuranteism was 
surcharged for the occasion with electric sympathy of the most 
explosive character. That presently found a vent in the thundrous 
welcome which taxed even the practised nerves of the coolest of 
" Cool Captains," which turned Polly's fine laugh to something like 
a sob, and staggered for half a minute the sturdy mental equili- 
brium of Mr. Samuel Gerridge. After that, it must suffice to 
record, amidst demonstrations, rather more subdued, of interest 
extraordinary, the play was played as, assuredly, it will never be 
again. And then came what we were all there to have a share 
in then came the good-by. 

274 THE THEATRE. [MAY r, 1883. 

It was a memorable " function.'* It was to lose Hawtree ; it 
was to see Sam no more ; but, above all, it was to lose Polly. I 
doubt if she will soon forget what her leave-taking was like. 

There was once a famous English actress who could say, as 
simple matter of fact : " I am a public concern." What the 
Oldfield of that day could say of herself, the Oldfield of our day 
has had said to her by her public before now, but never with the 
emphasis of this night, when, hand in hand with her husband and 
her old comrade, she stood upon a stage piled high with flowers ; 
and when, across those flowers the whole house rising at her 
with abnormal gesticulation and never-ending shouts on one side, 
and with something more eloquent than words on hers, good-by 
was said between us. 

So they pass from before our eyes for ever from to-night into 
the Shadowy Land George and Esther, Polly and Sam, magni- 
loquent Marquise, unspeakable Eccles, ineffable Hawtree old 
acquaintances, not to be forgot. 

And brought to mind, surely, again to-night by some of us on 
both sides of the curtain were three old acquaintances, gone 
further from us still, across the " Great Divide/'' into the other 
world the first and best D'Alroy of them all, out of whom the 
death-trap, called a railway smash, was to crush the life ; and the 
first and most inimitable Eccles, struck down almost on the stage, 
and in this very part ; and " though last, not least in love/' the 
tender man with the kind eye and the humorous mouth, the 
cynical tongue and the soft heart the man, an' it please you, 
who wrote this same " Caste," and also further increased the public 
stock of harmless pleasure he to whom the first success of this 
piece meant present ease, and fame and fortune close the end of 
a very long climb ; rest now, and, yonder, Canaan. Aye ; and 
who died upon that Pisgah-top, with the promised land in 


MAY i, 1883.] 

HALF-WAY. 275 

Half- Way ! 

r 1 

HAVE you forgotten where we stood 
Between the lights, that night of spring, 
The river rolling to the flood, 

So sad the birds, they dared not sing? 
No love was ever dream'd like this, 
Beneath the shadows of the park, 
Between a whisper and a kiss, 

Between the daylight and the dark ! 

There had been trouble this was rest ; 

There had been passion this was peace : 
The sunset dying in the west 

Made Nature sigh and whispers cease. 
I only felt what I had found, 

You only knew what I would say ; 
But nothing broke the peace profound 

Between the darkness and the day ! 

How will it end? I cannot tell, 

I asked it many months ago, 
Before the leaves of autumn fell, 

And chang'd to winter's waste of snow. 
Yet we stand watching at the gate 

Of summertime for promise hark ! 
No, love, 'tis nothing ! we must wait 

Between the daylight and the dark ! 

C. S. 

April, 1883. 

276 THE THEATRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

Plays in Paris. 

"\ It WHILST M. Perrin, of the Come'die Franchise, is tearing his 
* hair with vexation for having allowed M. Auguste Vac- 
querie's " Formosa" to escape him, after having had it for more 
than seventeen years neglected and dust-covered in his pigeon- 
holes, M. La Renouat, of the Odeon, is rubbing his hands with 
glee at having scored at last a success, which, let me add at once, 
is thoroughly well-deserved, both as regards the literary value and 
the play itself, and the untiring efforts of the presiding genius of 
the second Theatre Frangais in giving every applicant, be he 
young or old, with the least pretension to talent, a chance of being 
heard. But apart from the immediate pecuniary results of M. 
La Renouat's own ungrudging encouragement of untried merit - 
ably and generously seconded by his partner, M. Posel, the well- 
known and favourite actor this incident of M. Perrin abandoning 
a trump-card to his humbler but far more amiable competitor, is 
likely to have a beneficial influence upon theatrical art in general 
in France. From the time of Alexandre Dumas the elder's debuts 
as a playwright down to our own days, it has been gradually but 
surely become patent to those interested in the matter that the 
doubtful chances of a " show" in the house at the Rue de Richelieu 
are no longer worth the period of weary waiting, the supping full 
of humble pie, the almost hopeless task of pleasing the hydra- 
headed management of the " first theatre in Europe," that seem to 
be the inseparable conditions of effecting an entrance there. Even 
the reason the young author gave when asked why he had taken 
his first play to the Comedie Franchise, " Because it was the 
handiest to his home," will no longer hold good with any except 
the most inexperienced. The others are getting to prefer the 
tactics of the knowing pedestrian, who walks briskly to the farther 
end of his proposed journey to return by express train to his home 
and rest, if the Theatre Frangais has still the right to be called a 
haven of rest, seeing that it is fast becoming a bourn to which 
no traveller-playwright willingly returns after having sojourned 
beneath its roof once ; for even such men as Octave Feuillet, 
Alexandre Dumas fils, Edouard Pailleron, and Emile Augier are 

i, 1883.] PLA YS IN PARIS. 277 

plainly perceiving that, from a monetary point of view as well as 
from more noble motives, the game of being played at the Comedie 
Fransaise only supplies candles, whilst at other houses it supplies 
duplex lamps, gas, and luxuries to boot. A success at the house 
of Moliere means three nights' author's rights per week at the 
utmost, whilst a success at the Vaudeville or Gymnase means a 
hundred nights straight off the reel. Under those conditions the 
reaching of three figures at the former becomes almost as difficult 
of accomplishment as the proposed journey of Mark Twain on the 
glacier, which moved no doubt, but only a quarter of an inch 
every four-and- twenty hours. Add to this, that should you 
happen to be shelved, for one reason or other entirely unconnected 
with the success of your work, and most often owing to some act 
of arbitrariness, you are likely to be forgotten or neglected for a 
quarter of a century or so, as happened to M. Emile Augier with 
his " Efifrontes," who, in order to have his masterpiece revived 
after two-and-twenty years, had to threaten to do what M. 
Auguste Vacquerie effectually did namely, carry it to the Odeon. 
As it is, " Les Effrontes" keeps the bill two or three nights a 
week, though for how long one knows not, seeing that a revival of 
"Les Demoiselles de St. Cyr," one of the elder Dumas' least 
successful productions, is announced for the end of this month, 
and that " Une Matinee de Contrat," a comedy by an almost 
unknown author, M. Desvallieres, is in rehearsal. 

The most interesting event, however, of the season at the Rue 
de Richelieu are the farewell performances of M. Delaunay previous 
to his retirement from the stage. They began on the 5th of April, 
and will end in May, during which period M. Delaunay will appear 
in every role he played at the Comedie Fran9aise. M. Delaunay 
is fifty-eight years old. Having passed thirty-five years on the 
boards he now leaves for good, in the portrayal ofjeunes premiers, 
his finish of which, from a French histrionic point of view, must 
be pronounced as unsurpassed and unsurpassable, perhaps matchless. 
Whether his love-making was always done to Nature is a question 
open to grave discussion, especially with those who do not hold 
with Lessing's theory, " that Art should not step beyond certain 
bounds in her too servile reproduction of Nature." He would 
have never dared, in order to be natural, to throw or knock down 
a woman in the representation of jealousy bred from unrequited or 
ill-requited love, as did Fechter in the " Dame aux Camelias ;" 

278 THE THE A TRE. [IMAY i, 1883. 

though, in justice be it said, even Fechter absolutely refused to 
comply with the young author's injunctions, and to depart from 
the chivalric manner of wooing or vilifying woman traditional on 
the French stage, until carried away by the excitement of the 
overwhelming success of a first night. 

But it may safely be asserted that M. Delaunay would have 
never been so carried away, or that if he had been, his fear of 
innovation and the censure of the public would have got the 
better of his desire for originality. He was essentially the lover 
of the ancien regime easy, elegant, polished but he never forgot 
that between himself and his audience there was, not an orchestra 
(for there is none at the Frangais), but the footlights, that in- 
vested the most commonplace incidents to be represented with a 
poetical glamour which, with Frenchmen especially, told better 
than the closest imitation of Nature perhaps because Frenchmen 
are the least poetical of all human beings. I would not say so 
much for Frenchwomen ; for more than one, the best and highest 
bred, saw through his art proof whereof a story, related to me 
some eight years ago by one of M. Delaunay's friends, for the 
truth of which I vouch. 

One evening, after a brilliant performance of De Musset's 
" On ne badine pas avec TAmour," a card bearing a noble name 
was brought to M. Delaunay's dressing-room, the owner request- 
ing a moment's conversation, which was granted. The visitor 
entered at once upon his business. " I have just seen you play 
Perdican, M. Delaunay, and if you can teach me how to enact a 
similar love scene I am willing to pay your own terms." The 
young noble was about to ask the hand of an orphan girl of 
equally high birth, and, as the lady was of age, the matter could 
not be arranged, as these matters generally are, by a formal de- 
mand of the parents or guardians. In addition to this, the girl 
had pretensions of being loved for herself, and of being told so 
vivd voce. M. Delaunay consented to give the lessons, and in a 
few days the pupil, who was naturally bright and clever, per- 
formed very creditably. Too creditably, in fact, for when the 
crucial test came, the lady simply answered, " I would fain 
believe in your protestations, but they smack of the footlights ; 
they remind me of nothing so much as of M. Delaunay's charm- 
ing acting. The woman who could be beguiled into giving 
herself to a man by such perfectly uttered sentiments must be 

MAY i, 1883.] PLA YS IN PARIS. 279 

either a fool or a poetess I am neither." It is needless to say 
that there was no marriage between the couple. 

Some people are born old ; others would continue to be 
and look young if they lived as long as Dr. Parr. To this latter 
category belongs M. Leo Delibes, the composer of " Lakme" 
(produced at the Opera Comique on the I4th of April). As I 
sat watching him two nights previously at one of the general 
rehearsals different from the dress rehearsal conducting his 
work without the aid of a baton, my mind travelled back some 
four-and-twenty years, when I used to meet him at dejeuner at a 
little cremerie in the Faubourg Ponsonniere, near the Conserva- 
toire. Of all the noisy, rollicking youngsters, playing practical 
jokes upon the dear, kind, old Norman hostess (who, in spite of 
her thirty years' residence in Paris, was still as much a peasant as 
when she arrived at the barriere for the first time), young Delibes 
was one. There were mornings when he was comparatively 
quiet, when the stock of practical mischief had been temporarily 
exhausted outside upon others than upon the habitues of the 
cremerie, when he related his exploits, shaking his mane like a 
playful young lion, to his familiars, Even then he was no longer 
unknown, for at eighteen he had written a lyrical nightmare, 
entitled " Two Sons of Charcoal," and, what is more, it had been 
played with a certain amount of success. Philippe Gille one of 
the joint authors of the libretto of " Lakme" and he, were 
already fast friends. They met one morning at Victor Masse's, 
whilst the latter was composing " La Reine Topaze," and since 
then they had become inseparable. Delibes himself was 
accompagnateur at the Theatre Lyrique, where Gille had succeeded 
Jules Verne as secretary. Gille always swore that it was Delibes 
who had made him lose his place at the Hotel de Ville, by 
coming into the office at all times to sing to him the motifs 
d'operette he had found during the night or the morning, to the 
great annoyance of the sober-minded and steady-going employes. 

Then the young men went out arm-in-arm discussing their 
plans, often remaining for hours standing still in the streets to 
sing to each other, or else catching sight of Meyerbeer on the 
boulevards and following him petrified with respect, to use an 
expression of Delibes as Flaubert, the author of " Madame 
Bovary," and Loub Bouelhet followed a live-long day Honore de 

280 THE THEA TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

Balzac in the streets of Rouen until Meyerbeer, polite to every 
one, turned round now and then to bow .to them, under the im- 
pression that they were two young journalists, who were watching 
his movements to make copy out of. 

Delibes, as I have told you, was at that time accompagnateur 
read chorus master at the Theatre Lyrique, and a curious 
accompagnateur he must have been, always rushing in at the last 
moment It was he who had to play the organ in the cathedral 
scene of Gounod's " Faust," but M. Hector Salomon, being in a 
constant agony lest Delibes should be too late, had to instal him- 
self every night before the organ in order to get up again, 
for, out of breath, with dishevelled hair, there was young Ddlibes, 
not a moment too soon, but not a moment too late. 

Leo Delibes is still what he was then, the real gamin de Paris, 
plus the accident of genius, notwithstanding his forty-seven years. 
His score of " Lakme " brings you back to the palmiest days of 
French Opera Comique, to the days of Auber and Herold and 
Boieldieu, the music of which the ouvrier still sings over his 
work. If I were to begin picking out the charming numbers, I 
should find myself in the dilemma of Madame de Sevigne when 
she began selecting the best of Lafontaine's fables. She found 
there were none left to pass a qualified judgment upon. Re- 
member, I am speaking from the amateur's, not from the 
musician's, point of view. That more difficult task must be left 
to other hands, but I doubt if even the learned will find much to 

I know a dramatic critic and chroniqueur the functions are 
generally distinct, but he discharges them both on one of the 
leading Paris journals, who, at the time of Sarah Bernhardt's 
return from her American journey, made a bet that he would keep 
her name out of his copy for the period of one month. Mme. 
Bernhardt got wind of the wager, and swore that she would make 
him lose it. She kept her word. Mme. Bernhardt is to the 
theatrical journalist in Paris what the head of Charles the First 
was to Mr. Dick. He cannot keep her out of his writings. Most 
of us have left off struggling against the inevitable. What, 
after all, can one do with a woman who, not content with her 
world-wide reputation as a tragedienne, aspires to be a painter, a 
sculptor, an aeronaut, an authoress her Memoirs will appear at 

MAY i, 1883.] PL A YS IN PARIS. 281 

the end of the year a pierrot she is to play, in a pantomime 
expressly written for her, at a special benefit and a manageress 
of as many theatres as she can possibly obtain the lease of. She 
is ubiquitous and all-pervading. Though at the moment of my 
writing she is prevented by a sudden loss of voice from playing 
4< Fedora" at the Vaudeville which, en passant, was taken off 
on the 2Oth of April to make room for a revival of " Tete de 
Linotte" I saw her the other night in her new theatre, the Porte 
St. Martin, the management of which she inaugurated by the 
production of Adolphe Belot's " Pave de Paris" (i4th of April), 
a sensation play in twelve tableaux. 

M. Belot's piece is a very good one of its kind, and has, 
besides, the merit of original execution of a hackneyed plot. The 
triumph of virtue is accomplished by the recommendable device 
of appealing to that better part of human nature which meta- 
physicians tell us is not entirely absent even in the most wicked. 
The situation in which the final conversion of an honest man 
about to become a villain is brought about is, as far as I know, 
thoroughly novel, and shows the tendency of even melodramatists 
to profit, though in their own way, by the naturalism which M- 
Zola has been preaching for years. The scenery is altogether 
very capital, and a long run seems to be in store for " Le Pave de 

But, however good, melodrama is not Madame Bernhardt's aim 
at a theatre where she has promised to act herself for at least two 
hundred nights of the year. *' Frou-Frou" is already announced, 
then will follow a drama by Victorien Sardou in the style of "Patrie," 
after which, from among the four or five manuscripts read and 
accepted, a drama in verse by M. Jean Richepin, the famous 
author of " La Chanson des Gueux/' 

Poor, or rather happy, M. Richepin, who seems to be the latest 
victim of Sarah Bernhardt's peculiar propensities. I should be 
sorry to make these pages a vehicle of chronicling scandal, but 
it is by this time an open secret that the enchantress has be- 
witched him, that he will play the title role in his " Nana Sahib," 
that he will be seen lying at Sarah's feet in a floating tunic, with 
bare arms and legs, juggling with golden balls. 

That good old Count de St. Simon not to be confounded with 
the writer of the Memoirs who dreamt of the regeneration of the 


282 THE THE A TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

nineteenth century by means of an economic revolution, came one 
day to Madame de Stael. " Madame," said he, you are the most 
wonderful woman in the world, as I am its most original man. 
We'll live together, for we cannot fail to procreate a phenomenal 
being." " Though perfectly accustomed to the most outrageous 
proposals/' says Louis Veuillot, who is just dead, "though she had 
as many lovers as the Grand Turk had mistresses, Madame de 
Stael showed this cynical philosopher the door/' 

Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis. 

The remainder of my news must be chronicled very briefly. The 
Bouffes Parisiennes has revived " The Mascotte/' neither " Gillette 
de Narbonne" nor " Les Mousquetaires au Couvent" being suffi- 
ciently attractive to fill the coffers. The Palais Royal seems to 
have scored a moderate success with " Le Fond du Sac/' a kind of 
" Goose with the Golden Eggs," in three acts. It is by the author 
of " L'As de Trefle," and was studied, underlined, and produced in 
twenty-one days after the failure of " Peau Neuve/' There are 
some clever bits. At the Gaiete, " The Roi des Grecs" has made 
room for a semi-military, wholly patriotic spectacular play, " Le 
Bourgeois de Lille." At the Gymnase, " M. le Ministre" of M. 
Claretie was played for the last time on Thursday, April 1 9. The 
next day the premiere of " Le Pere de Martial," by M. Albert Delpit, 
the author of " Le Fils de Coralie/' Too late for notice. The 
Folies-Dramatiques has a success in " La Princesse des Canaries," 
bought,! am told, by Mr. Michael Gunn, to follow "La Belle Lurette/' 
which is being revived at the Renaissance, Madame Chaumont being 
unable to appear any longer in " La Cigale," owing to a diseased 
knee. The Athenee Comique, so well beloved of Parisians, though 
too rarely frequented by Englishmen, closed its doors for good on 
the 3 ist of April. The building is but eight-and-twenty years 
old, but its proprietor, M. Raphael Bischopheim, wants it for other 
purposes. One or two clever things at the minor theatres, 
especially at the Cluny, " Les Parisiens en Province/' the plot of 
which resembles in every respect a play I saw at the Royalty under 
the management of Miss Kate Lawler. Mr. Righton enacted the 
principal part, a London tradesman, who pines for the delights of 
the country, but is heartily glad to come back to town. 

Kind and generous Mr. Gilbert, who sent back the tickets to 

MAY i, 1883.] JO A CHIM A ND SARA SA TE. 283 

Mr. Buckstone, reminds me of an episode in the life of Alexandre 
Dumas the elder, with this difference, that the Frenchman antici- 
pated his share for a long while by selling them before his first 
piece had been produced. It was the first money he received in 
connection with his stage work. The custom still prevails in 
Paris. M. Sardou receives something like two hundred francs' 
worth a week. 

Joachim and Sarasate. 


r I ^HERE is an old legend, graceful and poetic as all the legends 
of Greece are, which relates how two nightingales dwelling 
in the same forest once contested with each other for the supreme 
victory of song. They sang each with a different motive. One 
sang for the love of his bonnie brown mate, whose bright eyes 
peered from a cluster of green leaves whereon the moonlight 
played with the fitful shadows : his song was of Love. Of tender- 
ness, of passion, of that mysterious and potent sympathy that 
alone can beautify and make glad the life of man, and without 
which the fairest of earth's possessions crumbles to dust in our 
grasp of faith, of hope, of purity and peace, the enchanting bird 
warbled " in full-throated ease," forgetting himself and the green 
woods around him in the earnestness and fervour of his melodious 
pleading, and only remembering that love and music purified the 
air and sanctified the world. And suddenly, crossing the current 
of his delicate harmony, the other nightingale commenced his 
song, with notes that were full, round, and rich, and tones that 
pierced with ringing triumph the deep cool heart of the forest 
nobly and sweetly he sang indeed, but not for Love his song 
was of Glory. Stronger and fuller rang the wild far-reaching 
music of his voice till it seemed as if the gentle lover-nightingale 
must have spread his wings and fled away forlorn, baffled and 
shamed into silence. Surely no song of love could compete with 
that victorious outburst of melody that chanted the splendours of 
immortal Fame ? Nay but listen ! 

U 2 

284 THE THEATRE. [MAY i, i88j, 

" Oh hush, oh hush ! how wild a gush of rapture in the distance, 
A roll of rhymes, a toll of chimes, a cry for love's assistance, 

A sound that wells from happy throats, 

A flood of song where beauty floats, 
And where our thoughts, like golden boats, do seem to cross a river."* 

The bird of Love recommenced his tender strain, modulated to> 
infinitely greater tenderness he poured out his passion in far 
more passionate pleadings, and regardless of his rival, sang on 
and on to his bonnie brown mate till she could no longer resist 
his sweet entreaties, and fluttering to him, she nestled close to his- 
downy wing, contented. And a deep stillness reigned through 
the woodland, for the bird of Fame sang no more. Some say 
he perished from disappointment and envy of his rival's beautiful 
voice others state that he wandered through many countries, 
singing now and then in sad broken notes of despair and 
loneliness but all agree in asserting that he never was happy. 
For happiness only dwells where Love is, and the artist or poet 
who works only for self-glory has lost the way to the palace of 
perfect joy. 

This old Greek legend of the nightingales came back to my 

mind the other night when Sarasate fascinated a crowded 

audience at St. James's Hall, and excited such a clamour of 

enthusiastic applause as is seldom heard in London concert-rooms. 

This graceful Southerner, with the warm light of warmer climes 

glowing in his kindly eyes, with his small slight figure, supple 

as a wand of willow, and his mobile changing countenance full of 

intellectual force and expression what is the moving spring of 

his marvellous genius ? Not fame for his enormous reputation 

is treated by him with the merriest insouciance. Not love of 

money, for he has private means of his own which are sufficient 

to satisfy any man of a reasonable mind. Not desire for 

honours, decorations, or courtly flatteries he cannot boast of being 

" Dr." Sarasate ; he is Sarasate pur et simple Sarasate e il snv 

Violino Sarasate and his dainty companion, his obedient, docile 

friend and confidante, the little instrument so fragile in make, so 

light to carry, so apparently nothing to look at, and yet which irk 

his hands becomes a pleading angel, a repentant fairy, a rapturous 

skylark, a sobbing child, a sighing wind, a storm on the ocean, a 

cry of love, a kiss of parting anything and everything in the 

whole range of human emotions that can be expressed by sound. 

* From a poem entitled " The Waking of the Lark," by G. Eric Lancaster. 

i, 1883.] JOACHIM AND SARAS A TE. 285 

For many years the musical world has respectfully doffed its hat 
to that other great violinist, Herr Joachim, and still must Joachim 
t>e acknowledged as one of the greatest artists that ever lived. The 
tone he produces is fine and full, and his execution is nearly fault- 
less, while (though unfortunately he was not always in correct tune 
the last time he played in London) he possesses a most perfect ear. 
We are all familiar with his manner of playing it is careful, studied, 
profound and finished. In truth, he is perhaps the most perfect 
performer on the violin we have. But mark the words performer 
,on the violin. Sarasate can scarcely be called a performer on the 
instrument ; it may be said of him as it was said of Paganini, that 
, he is himself a human violin. At any rate, he makes his instrument 
a part of him, and he holds his bow as if it were a slender lily he had 
gathered en passant to play with. The action of it is very like that 
of a slight flower swaying in the wind, and yet with what concen- 
trated nervous energy and passion it is wielded ! Sarasate himself 
.sways to and fro with the rise and fall, the ebb and flow of the 
music he performs ; now Joachim never descends to what he would 
certainly term affectation of movement and gesture. There he 
stands, dignified and respectable, a noble study of artist and man, 
taking without any fuss the pre-arranged terms for certain seasons 
offered him by Messrs. Chappell and Co., and playing for those 
terms in a learned, scientific, and artistic manner of which too 
much cannot be said in praise. But the wilful Sarasate, what of 
liim ? He will not " farm himself out," as the saying is, to any- 
body, and for no terms will he play if he does not feel in the 
humour. He will stay indoors a whole day testing strings for his 
beloved instrument. Waste of time ? Not at all. What ex- 
pectant bridegroom will not gladly pass a whole day in turning 
over the choicest gems of a jeweller's store, in order to find the 
exactly suitable gifts wherewith to adorn his bride on her marriage 
morn ? Sarasate weds his violin each time he plays, and it behoves 
him to see that his marriage offerings are appropriate. And if 
the strings were not perfectly in unison, it would be a sheer im- 
possibility to dash off those brilliant and wonderful harmonies 
which glisten like so many points of vivid light in the 
rainbow radiance of a Beethoven Symphony or a Mendelssohn 
Concerto, harmonies so clear, bell-like, and pure, that one 
listens to them half-bewildered, thinking that there must be 
:some fairy violin in the distance, echoing Sarasate's wonderful 

286 THE THEATRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

variations. Joachim, too, is a skilful master of harmonics ; but 
his harmonics do not take us by surprise they do not leap 
living, as it were, from the instrument they simply assert them- 
selves delicately, as the satisfactory results of long and arduous 
study. Sarasate's harmonics live, breathe, and burn ; and it 
would be difficult to surpass the power and passion of the yearn- 
ing notes in Chopin's " Nocturne," as played by Sarasate on the 
fourth string. Unconscious tears fill the eyes, and the heart 
beats quicker with pleasure akin to pain. One is reminded of 
Tennyson's lovely lines : 

" Music that gentlier on the spirit lies, * 

Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes." 

The difference between Joachim and Sarasate, from an artistic 
point of view, seems to me to consist chiefly in temperament. 
The one is a profound thinker and a man of culture ; the other 
is a child of genius and Nature. The one has studied earnestly 
and deeply, and maintains an attitude of composure and self- 
restraint, which are often the attributes of conscious power ; the 
other is glad and sensitive, and is full of the joyous abandon 
which pertains to the soul that can free itself at will from the 
trammels of the world, and float serene in a realm of its own 
imagining. Both men are great, both are deservedly honoured 
and admired, both merit the profoundest reverence of all musi- 
cians, living and to come ; and the distinction between them 
(after the one I have mentioned of temperament) is easily to be 
observed by any thinking musician who will take the trouble to 
consider the matter impartially. It is simply this : Joachim has 
conscientiously learned his art ; Sarasate has enthusiastically 
loved it. " Love, love, my child !" said the father of Aurora 
Leigh, in Mrs. Browning's beautiful poem ; and this is what Art 
says to those who desire to serve her best. There are some, 
like Joachim, upon whom she looks with grave contentment and 
dignified encouragement ; but only for those who love her 
with their inmost heart of hearts, like Sarasate, does the divine 
goddess consent to smile and become sweetly familiar. At this 
epoch she holds two wreaths one of laurel, the other of myrtle. 
And to Joachim she accords the laurels, saying, " Well done, thou 
good and faithful servant ;" but Sarasate she crowns with myrtle, 
and needs to say no word, for well she knows his love is greater 
than can be her praise. Both the wreaths she gives are fair, both 
are fadeless but myrtle leaves are more fragrant than laurels. 

MAY.., 1883.] OUR MUSICAL BOX. 287 


/^ARL ROSA is that rarest of phenomena amongst operatic 
' impressarii a man of his word. Some weeks ago, when 
he announced his "short season" at Drury Lane, he promised the 
London musical public two absolute novelties of native growth ; 
and he has fulfilled his pledge to the letter. Mr. A. G. Thomas's 
" Esmeralda" and Mr. A. C. Mackenzie's ' Colomba" both full- 
sized operas in four acts have been produced upon the boards of 
the " National" Theatre with the splendour, taste, and complete- 
ness that generally characterize Mr. Rosa's mises-en-scem. This 
company, although it no longer includes Miss Julia Gaylord and 
one or two other public favourites who strengthened it last year, is 
a thoroughly efficient one, enabling him to fill all the parts in the 
new opera, subordinate as well as leading, with artists of recog- 
nized merit. With respect to the excellences or defects of those 
works, views may and, as a matter of fact, do differ ; but there 
can be only one opinion as to the " cast" of executants entrusted 
with their presentment to the public ear and eye. If there be 
any flaws in the artistic cuirass of Mr. Rosa's enterprise, they are 
so insignificant as to be scarcely worthy of special notice. Nothing 
in this world appertaining to humanity, whether by accident or 
arrangement, is perfect ; and the English Opera Company cannot 
hope to evade the common lot. But, at least, it steadfastly keeps 
the highest aims in view, and unremittingly strives to attain them, 
which is quite as much as can be reasonably expected from a 
corporate body made up of heterogeneous and, too frequently, 
conflicting elements. With the solitary exception of the Stadt- 
theater at Hamburg, there is not, to the best of my knowledge and 
belief, a Continental Opera-house at the present moment provided 
with as good an all-round company as that recently performing at 
Drury Lane, which, by the way, can give "two stone and a 
beating" to the Hamburg house in the matter of their respective 

" Esmeralda" is a musical work of considerable beauty and 
interest, sweet rather than forcible, more remarkable for cleverness 

288 THE THEATRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

of construction and exquisite finish of detail than for originality, 
either in conception or treatment. Lacking vigour and entrain 
wherewith to take a critical audience by storm, it is supremely 
successful in insinuating itself into its hearers' good graces. 
Although " Esmeralda" is not pervaded by "endless melody," 
after the Wagnerian manner, it is continuously tuneful. Mr. 
Thomas's songs, duets, and concerted pieces are not separated 
from one another, each in its distinct musical frame, as obviously 
as are similar numbers in the operas of Gounod and Ambroise 
Thomas, composers from whom he has derived the majority of 
his inspirations. They are, however, unquestionable songs, duets, 
&c. ; every one of them is duly provided with a manifest begin- 
ning and an unmistakable end ; whilst one or two are so clearly 
and simply outlined as to be available for drawing-room use. To 
this category belong two charming airs, " O fickle, light-hearted 
swallow" (act i.), and " What would I do for my Queen ?" 
(act iv.). Every now and then, moreover, Mr. Thomas writes 
quite delightfully for the chorus, conspicuously so in the first and 
fourth acts, in which, beyond doubt, he has put forth greater 
strength and more copious invention than in the second and 
third. The ensembles, " Hail, realm of pleasure," " Bless you, 
bless you," and " Hoay, hoay" (an odd English travesty of the 
French " Ohe, ohe !") are admirable compositions of their kind. 
A quartet in the second act, " Oh ! is she not a lovely creature," 
also deserves honourable mention as a chef cCcenvrc, in a small 
way, of genial and graceful treatment applied to a melodious and 
ingeniously developed subject. The orchestration of " Esmeralda" 
impressed me as alternating between dainty intricacy and cloying 
sensuousness. Like the majority of young composers, Mr. Thomas 
has put too many plums not to speak of other and costlier ingre- 
dients galore into his pudding. This pardonable extravagance 
on his part bears convincing testimony to the large calibre of his 
talent and considerable extent of his imaginative and constructive 
resources. It takes a wealthy man to be lavish of superfluities ; 
and it is a shrewd French proverb that says, " abondancc de bicns 
ne nuit pas" If the instrumentation of " Esmeralda" is at times a 
thought too rich and gaudy to please the classic taste, it is always 
to its minutest detail scientifically correct, and put together 
with masterly skill. Mr. Thomas does not disdain the use of the 
Leitmotiv ; but he wields this musical "flapper" with light-hsnded 

MAY i, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL BOX. 289 

discretion, studiously forbearing to bang it about the ears of his 
audience. In short, there is a deal of real enjoyment, subtle as 
well as solid, to be derived from attending a performance of 
" Esmeralda," as that opera is given by Carl Rosa's company. 

To the libretto more than one cogent objection may be raised, 
chief amongst which is the cold-blooded outrccuidance with which 
it stultifies the artistic purpose of Victor Hugo's touching story, by 
converting its deeply tragical denouement into the most common- 
place of conclusions. That Esmeralda and Phcebus should get 
married at the close of the fourth act, and live happily for ever 
after, is all very well from the school-girl novel-reading point of 
view ; but, as a new ending to " Notre Dame de Paris," it appears 
to me no less revolting than impertinent. Mr. Marzials' verses, 
here and there, are ungrammatical and obscured; as far as the 
reader's ready apprehension of their meaning is concerned, by 
confusion of metaphor ; but this is a minor offence. To write a 
libretto satisfactory at once to a cultivated literary taste and to 
the trained musical ear, is an undertaking of such extraordinary 
difficulty that, to the best of my knowledge, it has never yet in 
the English language, at least been achieved. An ordinary 
rhymester, endowed with a strong sense of rhythm, is more likely 
to turn out a libretto of decent quality than is a true poet. Such 
a libretto, on the whole, is the " book" of " Esmeralda." Not in- 
frequently (as, for instance, in the duet between Esmeralda and 
Phoebus, " If I be like a flower," and in Quasimodo's fine solo at 
the commencement of the fourth act), Mr. Marzials' verses attain a 
high standard of merit, and exhibit genuine poetical feeling ; and 
his words, for the most part, fit Mr. Thomas's music very accu- 
rately. But he might have written them down to the Bunn level 
and been held guiltless, had he forborne meddling with the fateful 
denouement of Hugo's master-work. Esmeralda, about to be wedded 
to her frivolous and heartless seducer, is the substitution of a 
paltry platitude for a heartrending catastrophe. For such a feat 
of legerdemain Mr. Marzials must not expect civilized mankind to 
feel grateful. 

The title rule of " Emeralda" is not one of Miss Burns' 
happiest creations, probably owing to circumstances which have 
temporarily impaired this gifted artist's efficiency, both as actress 

290 THE THEA TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

and singer. Mr McGuckin's impersonation of Phoebus could 
scarcely be improved upon. His symmetrical figure and gallant 
bearing are well suited to the part of a dashing young soldier 
with sentimental proclivities ; and he sings the music allotted to 
him, from first to last, tunefully and expressively. The Quasi- 
modo of Mr. Crotty cannot be too warmly praised. Vocally and 
dramatically alike, it is a display of unsurpassable artistic ex- 
cellence. To hear him sing " What would I do for my Queen ?" 
is as complete a pleasure as a music-lover can well experience. 
Mr. Ludwig is picturesque and impressive as Claude Frollo, Miss 
Perry correct and uninteresting as Fleur de Lis, Mr. Davies 
painstaking and efficient in the singularly unsympathetic part of 
Gringoire. The chorus singing may, without the least exag- 
geration, be described as irreproachable ; nor can less be said with 
justice of the orchestra's achievements under Mr. Randegger's 
brilliant and highly intellectual leadership. Of the scenery it is 
enough to say that the first " set" in the Cour des Miracles is a 
cJief d'ceuvre of its kind, and that the other scenes are not un- 
worthy of it. 

" Colomba," the second novelty of Mr. Rosa's brief season, 
is not only a very beautiful musical work, but, in some respects, 
the most important and satisfactory opera ever yet given to the 
world by an English composer. The offspring of eminent 
talent and the highest sort of artistic culture, it is singularly free 
from the hackneyed methods, conventional forms and foregone 
conclusions that at once vulgarize and render tiresome those 
English operas which have hitherto achieved popularity in this 
country, and maintained their position on the repertoires of 
operatic impressarii for the last quarter of a century. " Colomba,' y " 
although its instrumental details are worked out with extraordinary 
minuteness and ingenuity, conveys the impression of having been 
written tout d'un jet. It is a continuous musical narrative, 
broken up into four chapters, or acts, in deference to scenic 
requirements and the conveniences of performers and audience 
alike ; but it suffers no artistic solution of continuity. All its 
parts belong to one another quite naturally they are not bound 
together by that Wagnerian contrivance, a " chain of endless 
melody/' but by congenital affinities. Mr. Mackenzie's melodies 

MAY r, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL BOX. 291 

are not always original ; but it is obvious to any musician that 
all his borrowing has been done unconsciously. They are, at any 
rate, goodly tunes ; and what is not absolutely new in them he 
has for the most part beautified with subtle grace. For example, 
the opening four-bar phrase of the vocero in the first act is a 
reminiscence of Donizetti almost amounting to a reproduction ; 
but deftly retouched by Mr. Mackenzie, the air that is essentially 
commonplace in " Lucia" becomes tenderly refined in " Colomba." 
This annexation, as well as others less conspicuous, is manifestly 
an unwitting one and Donizetti has certainly no reason to com- 
plain of it. The vocero is a delightful and highly characteristic 
song. That, rather than uncomely originality, is its true function, 
for the fulfilment of which by any lyric we cannot be too 

The space placed at my disposal this month by the Editor of 
THE THEATRE, will not admit more than a cursory and super- 
ficial notice of the leading features presented by the libretto and 
its setting. I have no room for even a skeletonian digest of 
the story. Mr. Hueffer's " book" would have done great credit to 
an able English writer of verse, and, being the work of a foreigner, 
is little short of a marvel. But for the learned author's exag- 
gerated view of its qualities, set forth in a preface too obviously 
inspired by excessive self-appreciation, I for one should have had no 
fault to find with this very clever and painstaking rccucil of rhymes 
and blank-verses. But, like the player-queen in " Hamlet/' Mr. 
Hueffer " doth protest too much." In explaining the " purpose" 
of his libretto, he designates its contents as " poetry," and refers 
with severe scorn to " Delia Cruscan mannerisms'* perpetrated by 
'foregoing librettists with which, however, his own text is pro- 
fusely disfigured. Only those who are indisputably guiltless of 
any particular class of offence should venture to denounce and 
reprehend that offence in others. Barbarisms and false concords 
in literary English, however excusable in an intelligent alien, are 
peculiarly objectionable in a professed reformer of abuses, who 
loftily denies " the necessity or desirableness (!) of such 
absurdities," and straightway proceeds to commit them with 
astonishing lavishness. With Mr. Hueffer's remodelling of 
Merimee's fascinating story every one capable of appreciating the 
exigencies of the operatic stage has reason to be thoroughly 

292 THE THE A TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

content. And the " book' 7 of " Colomba" is, take it for all in all, 
an exceptionally good " book" but no freer from certain defects 
that appear to be intrinsic to English libretti than the majority 
of its predecessors. 

Amongst the more universally attractive of Mr. Mackenzie's 
numbers, all of which are interesting, must be reckoned the bright 
chorus that opens act i., the vocero mentioned in a previous para- 
graph, the sentimental duet with which Orso and Lydia are intro- 
duced to the audience, a ballad assigned to Chilina, " So he 
thought of his love," which is inexpressibly touching, the 
"Corsican Love-song" (act iii.), and the duets of reproach and 
reconciliation in the fourth act. Besides these gems of the first 
water, sparkling musical trinkets in the way of characteristic 
dances, marches, and choruses, profusely embellish " Colomba," and 
afford delightful relief to its prevalent mournfulness of tone. It 
is only when endeavouring to impart musical significance to 
commonplace conversation that Mr. Mackenzie is in the least dis- 
appointing ; and even then he is not offensive, as Wagner only too 
often was in similar attempts. " Colombas' " uniform cleverness 
and wealth of subtle devices in the management of orchestral parts, 
exercise a strain upon the musical listener's attention that some- 
times surpasses pleasurable limits ; but for this its superabundant 
merits, not its shortcomings, are accountable. In short, it is a 
potent work, replete with promise of noble successors, a source at 
once of legitimate pride and hopeful anticipation to Mr. Mackenzie's 

Seldom within my experience has the task of criticism been made 
so agreeable for me as by the rendering of this remarkable opera 
at Drury Lane. In the title role Madame Valleria sang to perfec- 
tion, and made a splendid display of the dramatic intelligence and 
power in which she is unsurpassed by any living prima donna. Her 
delivery of the vendetta-motiv % or vocero, was simply a chef d'ocuvre 
of voice-production. The part of Lydia, for which Mr. Mackenzie 
has written some arduous declamatory music, was efficiently 
sustained by Mdlle. Baldi, whose vocalization and intonation are 
alike excellent. Miss Perry, as Chilina, to whom the two lyrical 
gems of the opera are confided, earned a vehement encore by her 
unaffected singing of the sad and significant ballad, " So he thought 

MAY i, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL BOX. t 293 

of his love," and rendered good service in several concerted pieces. 
Mr. McGuckin's impersonation of the chivalrous young chief of the 
Delia Rebbia clan left absolutely nothing to be desired. This 
industrious and clever young artist makes steady and continuous 
progress in the development of his great natural gifts, and this year 
exhibits, as Captain Orso, an improvement that, to speak frankly, 
ranks him second to none amongst cotemporary operatic tenors. 
As the plausible and treacherous Barracini, Mr. Ludwig acted 
and sang admirably, It is perhaps not unnatural , that a blood- 
thirsty bandit should sing out of tune ; if so, the representative of 
Savelii may be credited with having given a highly characteristic 
vocal interpretation of his part. That the Governor of Corsica, too, 
was not always in the middle of the note may be reasonably ascribed 
to the heavy responsibilities of his official position. All else was 
faultless the chorus-singing, the orchestral accompaniments, and 
the unusually pretty dancing. In a word, the production of 
" Colomba" has been a musical " event" of the highest importance, 
upon the unqualified success of which everybody who has had a 
hand in it, from the composer down to the humblest " super/' may 
be justly and cordially felicitated. 

Amongst the lyrical novelties of the past month that are 
deserving of notice are two drawing-room songs of considerable 
merit, " Let it be soon" (Ricordi) and " Farewell" (Novello, Ewer & 
Co.). The former is by Signor Paolo Tosti, who has set some 
passionate love-verses by Mr. Clement Scott to appropriate music 
in his own clever and eminently adcaptandum manner ; the latter 
in which Mr. Grimshaw has proved himself capable of arraying 
silly words in garments of thoughtful and significant music is ad- 
mirably suited to the concert-room, where it ought to make a hit. 
By the way, the words in question are Lord Byron's. It seems 
scarcely credible that one of the greatest poets of any age or 
country should have written such senseless stuff as the following : 

Oil ! more than tears of blood can tell 

When wrung from guilt's expiring eye, 
Are in that word Farewell ! 

My soul nor deigns nor dares complain, 
Though grief and passion these rebel. 

There is scarcely anything in the " Bohemian Girl" libretto itself that 
can outvie these lines in lack of meaning and constructive incorrect- 

294 THE THE A TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

ness. If Byron really composed them, he must have done so when 
reduced to temporary imbecility by that depressing malady the 
result of excessive conviviality known in Germany as " cat-grief/' 
and in France as "a pain in the hair." To the mezzo-soprano 
songstress of the salon I can confidently recommend " Golden 
Rest," a pretty and tender lullaby, the musical setting of which is 
also by Mr. Grimshaw. This soothingly crooning little Schlum- 
merlicd is published by Messrs. Novello, Ewer & Co. 

A word or two of cordial praise is honestly due to the music of 
" A Private Wire," the new lever dc rideau at the Savoy. It is 
tuneful throughout, and most refreshingly unconventional, a quality 
which implies, and quite correctly so in this case, a certain degree 
of originality. I heartily congratulate Mr. Percy Reeve upon the 
production of so clever and charming a composition, instrumentated 
with such cheerful grace and delicate contrivance. More than one 
cotemporary German writer for the lyric stage might, with 
advantage to thj public, emulate the melodiousness of Mr. Reeve's 
berceuse and the ripe constructive ability characterizing his delightful 
quintet in " A Private Wire." 




A New and Original Play in Four Acts, by A. W. PINERO. Produced at the Court Theatre, on 
Saturday, March 24, 1883. 

The Rev. Humphrey 


Dr. Oliver Fulljames... MR. H.KEMBLE. 
Captain Jesmond Ryle MR. A. ELWOOD. 
Connor Hennessy ... MR. ARTHUR CECIL. 
Mr. Hockaday MR. MACKINTOSH. 

Mr. Gilks Mr. G.TRENT. 

Mr. Voss MK. WILLES. 

Saul Mash MR. PHILIP DAY. 


Hope Hennessy Miss MARION TERRY. 

Sally Brotherhood ... Miss KATE RORKE. 


IT is of little use to waste words over a play that so signally failed 
to attract public sympathy as this. Not a year passes but 
at least a dozen carefully considered, well-written, conscientiously 
planned dramatic works miss their mark altogether, and are sent, 
without ceremony, into a shadow-land of theatrical ghosts. All 
that can be said is, that it is a pity. But for all that, it cannot 

MAY i, 1883.] OUR PLA Y BOX. 295 

be helped. Mr. Pinero must suffer as Mr. Albery, Mr. Merivale, 
Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Wills, and countless authors have suffered before 
him. When a play, in many respects extremely clever, but as a 
whole unsympathetic to an audience, meets with an adverse fate, 
all kinds of reasons are assigned for the failure except the right 
one. The critics are prejudiced, or the public is composed of 
fools. The stage is supposed to be degraded, or it is said that 
literature is tabooed. Nothing of the kind. The play has merely 
met with one of those lamentable accidents that attend this form 
of composition. Only the ignorant and the impudent would 
consider Mr. Pinero one atom less talented because " The Rector" 
failed to please. Yet this is the way of the world. A man 
writes a trashy melodrama, as vulgar as it is tricky, and he is 
lauded to the skies as a second Shakespeare. It has succeeded, 
and that is enough. Another w r rites an " Oriana," a " White 
Pilgrim," a "Juana," or a <l Vanderdecken," and straightway he 
is kicked but only by the asses of the fold. \Ve have no 
audiences to-day who are willing to pay ten shillings for a stall in 
order to sit out that which is generally uninteresting for occa- 
sional moments of cleverness. Theatres are dear, and practical 
folk like their money's worth. If seats were cheaper, there would 
be more audiences for plays like " The Rector." 

In this case, no doubt, Mr. Pinero flew in the face of dramatic 
precedent, and was at infinite pains to show that it was a mistake 
to let your audience into the inner secret of your plot. He 
determined to fog the spectator in order to obtain a momentary 
surprise. Tradition here was proved to be right and Mr. Pinero 
wrong, and the lesson, though a disheartening one, may not be 
without its value. In " The Rector," Mr. Pinero professed to tell 
the story of four friends ; in reality he did nothing of the kind. 
He told the story of an honest clergyman, who is led to cast 
suspicion on the fame of his tender and affectionate wife, because 
he has credited a wild story trumped up by a friend who turns 
out to be a madman ! The audience all through is vexed to 
think that an obviously sweet w r oman is disreputable, and vents 
its vexation on the author when he is detected in laying a snare 
for them. There was some admirable writing in the play, and 
some excellent acting. I can recall nothing better from Mr. 
John Clayton, the manly and affectionate Rector ; from Miss 
Marion Terry, the gentle and sympathetic wife ; from Mr. Arthur 



[MAY i, 1883. 

Cecil, a well-bred old Irish gentleman ; or from Mr. Philip Day 
and Miss Rorke, a delightful pair of rustic lovers. Mr. Mackintosh 
was good also, but may be recommended to "moderate the 
rancour of his tongue." Better acting of its kind could not be 
seen, but good acting cannot give life or coherence to a play that 
has a hitch in it. This was proved at this theatre also in 
41 Comrades," as well-acted a play as was to be found at the time 
in all London. 


A new Comic Opera in Three Acts, adapted from the French by FRANK DESPREZ and ALFRED MURRAY 

Le Due de Marly 
Sergeant Belhomme 


La Chanoinesse 

La Boiserie 










De Lehoncourt 







IN the production of Offenbach's " Lurette," at the Avenue 
Theatre by Messrs. Gunn and Hollingshead, the public have not 
been slow to recognize a laudable effort in the direction of emanci- 
pating Anglicized French Comic Opera from some of the traditional 
embarassments by which, for the most part, it has hitherto been 
beset in this country such as feeble, clumsy, and frequently un- 
grammatical libretti, the employment of incompetent actors and 
singers for minor parts, a regrettable lack of finish in the execution 
of orchestral accompaniments, and, last but not least, a disagreeable 
flavour of vulgarity running through the whole performance. From 
all these defects and unpleasantnesses the Avenue " Lurette" is 
free. The " book" is by Mr. H. S. Leigh, the bard of Cockayne, 
who could not write bad verses if he tried, and contains several 
lyrics far above the operetta average, most dexterously fitted to the 
rhythms and accents of the music. Every part, without exception, 
is efficiently filled. The orchestra is unusually "full," nicely 
balanced throughout, and conducted with great taste. Barring a 
little commonplace " gag," presumably introduced into the part of 
Cornichon for the delectation of the gallery, there is nothing in 
the least vulgar throughout the piece, either in dialogue or action, 
although it never for a moment lapses into dulness. Of the 
scenery that of the first and third acts is really lovely chorus- 

MAY i, 1883.] OUR PL A Y BOX. 297 

singing, dresses and appointments in general, it may fairly be said 
that they are as good as they can be. 

The plot of " Lurette," at first sight, appears simpler than it is. 
It may be told in a few words. A rackety young Duke marries 
a washerwoman of surpassing beauty, quits her professedly for 
ever half an hour after the wedding ceremony towards the close 
of the second act, and returns to her pour le bon motif, with the 
avowed intention of thenceforth fulfilling his marital obligations, 
shortly before the final fall of the curtain. That is the whole 
story. It is not until reflection has superseded amusement that 
one begins to wonder why the Duke marries at all, if resolved 
to abandon his wife so prematurely why, if he must marry, he 
should espouse an "entire stranger" in the soapsud interest, and 
why, having done both these unreasonable things, he should finally 
come back to the forsaken one and passionately plead for " restitu- 
tion of conjugal rights." Questions of this sort ought to find their 
answers in the libretto ; but, in the case of " Lurette," they do not. 
Nor is the narrative, as set forth in the spoken dialogue, as trans- 
parent as it might be. It lacks limpidity. One ought not 
perhaps to be too exigeant about " motives of action" in an 
Offenbachian operetta, as long as it ends comfortably for all 
parties, and the heroine is only made just unhappy enough to give 
her opportunities for singing one or two pathetic or even senti- 
mental songs, in pleasing contrast to the otherwise rollicking 
character of her vocal utterances. 

Miss Florence St. John, the prima donna assolutissima of 
operetta on the English stage, sings and acts the title role with 
all the energy, grace, and intelligence which invariably charac- 
terize that highly-gifted young lady's impersonations. Although, 
as far as her voice is concerned, she is always at high pressure, 
making the most of her physical moyens and but rarely conde- 
scending to the relaxation of a mezza-voce production, it is a true 
musical refreshment to listen to her singing by reason of its pure 
intonation and sound artistic method. Her proper designation in 
the piece being " La Belle Lurette," it is needless to say that she 
thoroughly "looks the part." As Marceline, the "boss" of the 
washing establishment to which Lurette belongs, Miss Lottie 
Venne is deliciously pert and uniformly charming. In her 
second dress, she presents a life-size realization of the ideal 
Dresden shepherdess, migncnne, fragile and tenderly tinted, with 


298 THE THE A TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

a pretty little strut and fantastic way of preening herself that are 
positively irresistible. M. Marius, who has partially recovered his 
voice, plays the part of Malicorne the Duke's knavish confiden- 
tial valet with clever quaintness and laughter-moving frivolity. 
In itself the role is not a particularly brilliant one ; but M. Marius 
contrives to make it exceedingly funny throughout. Mr. Bracy's 
Duke deserves unqualified praise. His handsome person is shown 
off to great advantage by elegant costumes of the Louis XV. 
period, the music assigned to him suits his voice admirably, and 
he plays the debonnair, whimsical young Grand Seigneur very 
brightly and gaily. The minor parts, as has already been pointed 
out, are all satisfactorily sustained by their respective represen- 

From beginning to end the music of " Lurette" is pretty and 
taking, in Jacques Offenbach's latest and best manner. Its melo- 
dies are possibly not remarkable for originality indeed, one or 
two of them are obviously " borrowed" from Johann Strauss 
avec intention but they are well put together, and easy, as well 
as pleasant, to remember. If the orchestral accompaniments are 
a thought slenderly constructed, it must be at least admitted that 
their instrumentation is delightful. One of the numbers (Coup- 
lets : " In London town"), which obtains a double encore every 
evening, is simply a new version of " Die schoene blaue Donau ;" 
and this is not the only familiar Austrian tune utilized by the 
composer, for a homely old Styrian Laendler crops up in one of 
Lurette's subsequent soli. The rondo and ensemble (act ii.), 
" Colette one day slipt out," sparkles with gleefulness of a very 
contagious kind, such as is well described by the French word 
entrainant. A romance, sung by Lurette upon discovering that 
her newly wedded husband has voluntarily forsaken her, is the 
gem, musically speaking, of the whole work, and is unexcep- 
tionably rendered by Miss St. John. It is called, " Would I could 
die," and is well qualified to achieve social success as a drawing- 
room song. 

Leaving " Lurette's" intrinsic merits as a composition out of the 
questicn, the excellence of its " setting," mounting, and perform- 
ance throughout should, and doubtless will, ensure it a good 
" run," lasting at least until the end of the coming London 
season. It is essentially one of those recreative pieces, frankly 
devoid of all pretensions to importance or gravity, and blithe- 

MAY i, 1883.] OUR PL A Y BOX. 299 

somely unintellectual, that everybody ought to, and, as a rule, 
does go to see. 


An Original Comic Opera, in Three Acts, by FLORIAN PASCAL and HARKY PAULTON. Produced 
at the Strand Theatre, on Monday, March 26, 1883. 

King Arthur 




Burbos ... . 
Bleobber ... . 
Redaine . 

. ... MR. F. GAILLARD. 
. ... MR. W. G. BEDFORD. 
... MR C. A WHITE. 

Princess Menaa 
Princess Rhaadar . 



Carrow ... . 

... MR. J. FRANCIS. 
... MR. A. SIMS. 

Princess Penarra 





THE production of " Cymbia ; or, the Magic Thimble," at the 
Strand Theatre, is a legitimate subject of congratulation to 
everybody concerned in that achievement to the management, 
for its judicious casting and splendid mounting of the piece, not 
forgetting the credit due to it for encouraging native talent ; to 
the composer, for enriching the repertoire of English comic opera 
with an item of real musical beauty and value ; to the performers 
of all classes, for their excellent renderings of the parts assigned to 
them ; and, lastly, to the music-loving public, for which this delight- 
ful entertainment cannot fail to prove a bonne bouche of no ordinary 
sweetness. " Cymbia" is a charming work throughout. From 
first to last its musical interest never flags. It does not contain 
one positively ugly number, and only one or two that are 
commonplace and banales. Its melodies are pleasing, and for 
the most part novel ; brightness of conception and intelligence in 
construction characterize the concerted pieces ; and the orches- 
tration, always workmanlike, is not infrequently masterly to boot. 
Mr. Florian Pascal since it pleases the youthful author of 
" Cymbia" to be publicly known by that foreign- flavoured 
pseudonym, instead of by his own essentially British patronymic 
has proved himself by this, his first composition of any magni- 
tude, a writer of no ordinary capacity for voice and orchestra 

In the Land of Operetta and Burlesque (christened " Little 
Britain" for the nonce by the librettist of " Cymbia") reigns 
King Arthur, an impecunious monarch, who counts upon his sons 
to extricate him from his difficulties by contracting lucrative 
matrimonial alliances. One of the Princes, however, Carrow by 
name, is a misogynist with a turn for the fine arts, who will not 

X 2 

300 THE THE A TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

hear of love, much less marriage, although there is an execu- 
tion in the Royal Castle at the time the action of the play com- 
mences. Carrow's three brothers respectively types of conceit, 
self-sufficiency, and ineptitude have fallen into their father's 
views, and are awaiting an equal number of wealthy brides in the 
banqueting hall, where harpists, obviously of the Welsh persua- 
sion, greet the rising of the curtain by part-songs, vociferated in 
the true Eisteddfodd manner. Cymbia a shepherdess, to 
whom a defunct grandmother, formerly of high standing in the 
necromantic profession, has bequeathed a thimble, gifted with the 
power of enabling its possessor to realize his or her every wish 
now appears on the scene, and instantaneously becomes ena- 
moured of Carrow, who rejects her frank advances, although, by 
the thimble's magical agency, she endows him with the artistic 
talent he has hitherto lacked and vainly yearned to acquire. 
King Arthur, however, takes a fancy to her, and consults her 
with respect to the assortment of his sons and daughters-in-law, 
all of whom she contrives to offend. They insist upon her ex- 
pulsion from Court, and in the scuffle that ensues she loses her 
talisman, which passes into the custody of Carrow. The re- 
mainder of the plot space fails us to attempt the unravelling of 
its successive intricacies is made up of the more or less surpris- 
ing incidents brought about by the further changing of hands 
suffered by Cymbia's thimble, utilized alternately as an instru- 
ment of revenge and beneficence, of mischief and reconciliation. 
Finally, it makes everybody happy, the undeserving as well as 
the meritorious ; thus, from an Opera Comique point of view, 
fulfilling its supernatural functions with exemplary completeness. 

In the handsome and gifted young lady who sustains the title 
role of " Cymbia," we unhesitatingly recognize a star of the first 
magnitude, fully entitled to rank on equal terms with such lumi- 
naries of the operetta firmament as Miss St. John and Miss 
Cameron. Endowed by Nature with a voice of great compass and 
singularly sweet quality, Mdlle. Camille d'Arville has studied the 
art of singing to some purpose. As a matter of fact especially 
in regard to her method of tone-production she is an accomplished 
and delightful vocalist. Her intonation is absolutely faultless. She 
acts, too, as she sings, with excellent taste and discretion, never 
condescending to any of those ad captandum tricks by which too 
many " leading ladies" in English comic opera distress the more 

AY i, 1883.] OUR PLA Y BOX. 301 

cultivated element of their audiences. Mdlle. d'Arville's part is 
what is technically called a heavy one, making no inconsiderable 
call upon her physical resources, which, however, are as entirely at 
her command at the close of the piece as at its commencement. 
Her singing of a very charming ballad (" No more, no more," act 
ii.) would in itself suffice to signalize her as one of the most 
sympathetic songstresses of the day ; but it is in no essential 
respect worthier of unqualified praise than are her renderings of 
the other numbers assigned to her. It should be mentioned that 
the song in question is fitted with an extremely clever and 
effective accompaniment of violoncello obligato. 

Mr. Harry Paulton, as King Arthur, is an inimitable exponent 
of his own saturnine waggeries, with which his share of the dialogue 
is abundantly enlivened. He sings his songs as drily as he speaks 
his words, which is saying a good deal ; and even his comic 
dancing is not without a touch of bear-like gravity. His patter- 
song " I'm music'ly mad," although we believe it nightly earns him 
a triple recall from audiences convulsed with laughter, is the 
weakest number, with respect alike to music and text, in the 
whole work. Extravagance of diction and even confusion of ideas 
are excusable nay desirable, as enhancing the sheer fun of the 
thing in the lyrical utterances of a comic lunatic. But they 
should not be permitted to overstep the limits of intelligibility and 
grammar. King Arthur when, after setting forth that, to him, a 
bar is the same as a shake or a clef, he goes on to say that t; all 
three might either be, though each to t'other be add," lays an 
unnecessary strain upon the divining powers of his hearers, 
who, were they dipus to a man, could never hope to guess his 

The pleasant and well-delivered light tenor voice of Mr. Henry 
Walsham is heard to advantage in the lyric part of Carrow, which 
teems with pretty music, conveniently written for the singer ; and 
the subordinate roles of the three princely couples leave little to 
be desired. M. Gaillard, as Burbos, King Arthur's u eldest hope," 
is bright, tuneful and animated, singing a martial air " Our Native 
Hills," with infinite spirit and verve. The other two Princes, 
Bleobber and Redaine (Messrs. Bedford and White) have not much 
to do, but contribute satisfactorily to the concerted music. So do 
the three Princesses, Menaa, Rhaadar, and Penarra (Misses 
Vesalius, Carew and Balmaine), the first-named of whom is en- 

302 THE THEATRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

trusted with an agreeable song, " For better, for worse." Mr. 
Francis, as Grippinghame, an Early English sheriff's officer, 
must be mirthfully felicitated upon the quaint lugubriousness of 
his " make-up." The chorists of both sexes sing well in time and 
tune, which is all that can be asked, and, as a rule, more than is to 
be expected of them. Scenery, dresses, appointments are all first- 
class of their kind. 


A New and Original Farcical Comedy, in Two Acts, by PERCY FENDALL. Produced for the first time in 

London on Thursday, March 29, 1883, at the Folies-Dramatiques (Novelty) Theatre. 

Originally produced at the Theatre Royal, Oldham, on October 13, 1879. 

Geoffrey Plummer ... MR. GILBERT FAR- 


Mr. Spotter MR. R. C. MARTIN. 

Raggles MR. DESMOND. 

Mrs. Plummer Miss ELLEN VICARY. 

Mrs. Warden Miss DOT ROBINS. 

Miss Kate Grosvenor... Miss MAGGIE ARCHER. 

Mrs. Manley Miss FLORENCE 


MERELY for the sake of reference is this play alluded to in these 
columns. It was designed for the sake of advertising the in- 
competence of some amateurs, who conceived they were doing the 
stage service by appearing upon it, and the comedy so-called was 
found ^to be in the worst possible taste. It is bad enough to 
test the patience*of [the public by the egregious vanity of people 
who have no claim to be considered sufficiently talented to appear 
in an ordinary amateur troupe, but it is worse when the play 
selected goes out of its way to cast a slur upon the social condi- 
tion of the dramatic profession at large. The motto that " it is 
an ill bird that fouls its own nest," may be commended to those 
who patronize the stage by appearing upon it, and who go out 
of their way mischievously to destroy the fabric that has been 
built up with so much care and industry. 


A New Play in Four Acts, 'adapted from the French of PIERRE D'ALRY. Produced at the 
Opera Comique Theatre, on Saturday, March 31, 1883. 

"Robert I/Estrange ... MR. CHARLES KELLY. 

Sir Gilbert Vincent ... MR GEORGE ALEXANDER. 

Bernard Fitzgerald ... MR. JOHN BENN. 

Mr. Schneider MR. WM. FARREN, JUN. 

Mirton MR. R. STOCKTON. 


Mrs. L'Estrange ... Miss NELLY BROMLEY. 

Hon. Mrs Schneider Miss APNES THOMAS. 

Alice L'Estrange ... Miss MABEL HARDINC.E. 

Helen Maxwell Miss HILDA HILTON. 

THE rapid and complete failure of this adaptation is a faint 
indication of the fact that the public are at last beginning 
to recognize that with them lies the chief power of suppressing that 
which is unwholesome or unnecessary on the stage. When, at the 
conclusion of the first performance of " Bondage/' a gentleman 

MAY i, 1883.] OUR PL A Y BOX. 303 

stepped in front of the curtain and inquired if the play was a success, 
he was greeted with determined cries of " No, no." This, too, in 
a house where the frequenters of the pit those honest and sturdy 
supporters of the drama are relegated to the upper regions of the 
theatre, was a note of resolution and strength that has long been 
wanting on the part of the public. If playgoers were allowed the 
free exercise of their will, they would assemble on the first nights 
and soundly hiss off the stage all unworthy works and all inca- 
pable aspirants to theatrical success. In " Bondage/' an obscure 
French drama, by one Pierre d'Alry, was temporarily brought to 
light. Its story was not interesting, the play was not too skilfully 
constructed, and it was most indifferently acted. Miss Hilda 
Hilton, suffering, it was said, from an affection of the throat, failed 
to elicit the slightest sympathy for the character of the heroine, and 
her acting seemed to be composed almost entirely of mechanical 
movements, enlivened by painfully spasmodical jerks. Mr. 
Charles Kelly did not rouse himself for a single instant from a 
lethargy which seemed to have complete possession of him. Mr. 
George Alexander exhibited some little passion, and a character 
sketch of considerable finish came from Mr. William Farren, jun. 
Miss N. Bromley struggled bravely with an unsatisfactory part, 
and Miss Agnes Thomas proved herself a very agreeable exponent 
of comedy. 


A Dramatic Sketch, in Three Tableaux, founded by EDWARD ROSE, on the story of the same name 
by F. ANSTEY. Produced at the Gaiety Theatre on Monday afternoon, April g, 

Mr. Bultitude's Body MR. C. H. HAWTREY. 

Dick's Body MR. EDWARD ROSE. 

Dr. Grimstone MR. \V F. HAWTREY. 

Mr. Shellack MR. Louis ARMSTRONG. 


Chavvner MR. T. CA.VNAM. 

Dulcie Miss LAURA LINDEN. 

Eliza ... . . Miss ROSE ROBERTS- 


THIS adaptation of Mr. F. Anstey's very popular story was 
cleverly done by Mr. Edward Rose, but it did not wholly 
succeed as a play. It is one thing to dream away an hour or so 
over a whimsical story cleverly told, but it is quite another to 
witness an attempt to embody characters which can be better and 
more easily pictured in the imagination of every reader than 
delineated on the stage. The first portion of such a dramatic 
work as " Vice- Versa" is, perhaps, well enough for a good-tem- 
pered audience. But one soon wearies of such work. It amuses 
at first, but soon grows flat and dull, like a bottle of champagne 
which has remained uncorked too long. 

304 THE THEATRE. [MAY i, 1883. 


A New Drama of Modern Society, in Five Acts, by ROBERT BUCHANAN. Produced at the 
Globe Theatre on Wednesday, April n, 1883. 

The Countess of Broad- Miss CARLOTTA LE- 

meads CLERCQ. 

Lady Clare Brookfield Miss ADA CAVENDISH. 

Hon. Cecil Brookfield Miss HARRIET JAY. 

Lord Ambermere ... MR. PHILIP BECK. 

John Middleton MR. ALFRED BUCKLAW. 

Mary Middleton ... Miss LYDIA COWECL- 

Mr. Gould Smale ... MR. HORACE WIGAN. 

Melissa Smale MRS. DIGBY WIL- 

Count Leg-range . 

Major O'Connor. 
Mrs. Forster 
Grimes ... 



" LADY CLARE" contains the germs of a charming and dra- 
matic story, but Mr. Robert Buchanan has displayed very little 
constructive power in his latest work, and he has con- 
trived to spoil what might, under abler hands, have been 
made into a good drama. The play does not even possess that 
literary finish which might have been expected from its author. The 
dialogue is neither forcible nor polished. Each act recalls scenes 
from other plays, and it must be admitted that the drama is 
a crude, unsatisfactory work. The story is this ; The first of the 
five acts into which the play is divided takes place at the home of 
Lady Clare Brookfield. Lady Clare is in love with Lord Amber- 
mere, and her affection is returned. She is also loved by a wealthy 
manufacturer, John Middleton, who asks her to be' his wife. She 
refuses his suit, but on hearing that Lord Ambermere is ruined, and 
that, in order to retrieve his fortunes, he is about to marry a rich 
American girl, and also to recoup her own shattered estate, Lady 
Clare agrees to marry Mr. Middleton. In the second act we hear 
that the heroine is married, but still,' not loving her husband, she 
resolves to fly from him. Middleton will not allow her to thus 
desert him, and he and his wife determine to live together husband 
and wife in name only. The third act takes place at Dieppe. Lord 
Ambermere has followed Lady Clare and her husband, and, through 
an opportunity provided by his wife, who is j'ealous of his old love, 
he makes an avowal of his passion for his proud cousin. He is in- 
terrupted by the arrival of Middleton, and the two men quarrel, with 
the result of a duel being arranged. The fourth act shows in its 
first scene how Lady Clare discovers that her husband is going to 
fight Lord Ambermere. The second scene of this act takes place 
in a forest glade. The two men arrive to fight, and just as they 
fire the duel being with pistols Lady Clare rushes on and falls 
apparently lifeless. The last act depicts the recovery of Lady 
Clare, who has only been shot in the shoulder by the bullet 
intended for her husband. At last she has learnt to love her 
husband, and to recognize the value of his noble nature. She is 

MAY i, 1883 ] OUR PL A Y BOX. 305 

debating in her mind as to the expediency of telling him that she 
loves him, when the intrepid, shameless Lord Ambermere enters 
and again avows his passion. He is vain enough to think that in 
her endeavour to stop the duel Lady Clare had been concerned in 
his safety instead of that of her husband. But for once he is mis- 
taken, and the lady turns upon him and tells him that she loves 
her husband. Middleton has heard her repulse the scoundrel, and 
he orders Lord Ambermere off the premises, husband and wife 
being at last united. The burden of the acting falls upon Miss 
Ada Cavendish, who plays with much art and true passion, although 
the character of Lady Clare is unworthy of the actress. Mr. Alfred 
Bucklaw is too inexperienced and not sufficiently interesting for the 
part of Middleton, and Mr. Philip Beck is somewhat stagey as Lord 
Ambermere. Miss Harriett Jay grves a fresh, bright, and unconven- 
tional rendering of a boy, and Miss Lydia Cowell is charming in a 
small role. Mr. Horace Wigan appears as a wealthy American, and 
distinguishes himself by a hideous and uncharacteristic disguise. 
The entire " new drama" is an exact paraphrase of a story by 
Georges Ohnet, called " Le Maitre de Forges,''' scene for scene 

and situation for situation. 

" R A C H E L." 

A New Drama in a Prologue and Three Acts, by SYDNEY GRUNDV. Produced at the 
Olympic Theatre on Saturday, April 14, 1883. 

Characters in the Prologue 
Sir Phillip Grant MR. W. H. VERNON. 

Captain Craven Mr. HERMANN VEZIN. 

Jack Adams MR. F. STAUNTOX. 

ist Policeman MR. H. DARVELL. 

znd Policeman MR. H. KNIGHT. 

Margaret Waters 
Rachel ... 

Sir Philip Grant Mr. W. H. VERNON. 

Captain Craven MR. HERMANN VEZIN. 

Harold Lee MR. T. C. BINDLOSS. 

Superintendent Mat- 

Characters in the Drama 

Mr. Shorrocks 


Gladys Grant 
Mrs. Athelstan 



;. J. W. 
{. EDWA 




thews MR. W. E. BLATCHLEY. 

THE new drama, by Mr. Sidney Grundy, entitled " Rachel,'' 
now being performed at the Olympic Theatre, is a play 
which seems to elude criticism, so vague and indistinct is the plot 
upon which the story is based. Most of the characters are drawn 
with a firm, decisive hand, but they severally fail in fulfilling the 
hopes they arouse. The prologue is neither wanting in interest 
nor dramatic power, but, while endeavouring to acquaint us with 
the facts which form the basis of the subsequent scenes, it only 
succeeds in mystifying us completely. We are plunged into a 
life of divided natures and interests, without being aware of the 
relative positions which the various characters occupy one towards 
the other. The part of Rachel affords Miss Genevieve Ward 
ample scope for portraying the merciless revenge which she can 
depict with so much ability. Apart from the play, the character 

306 THE THE A TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

rivets our attention by the stern reality with which it is invested. 
The determined, unflinching hatred against the man who has so 
deeply injured her is displayed with marvellous power and 
realism ; but Miss Ward fails to arrest our sympathies when the 
life of the woman changes through the great and absorbing love 
she bears for her child. The gentler emotions lose their reality; 
our interest in Rachel ceases to exist when her better and truer 
nature asserts itself, because the pathos merges into artificiality ; 
the love, however much expressed by endearing words and ges- 
tures, cannot be said to be portrayed with the same amount of 
power which influenced the woman's nature when revenge was the 
sole object of her life. Mr. Vernon invests the character of Sir 
Philip Grant with an amount of earnestness which cannot fail to 
arouse our sympathy, in however small a degree. A man's love 
for a woman, already past her girlhood, might be easily treated 
in a way to arouse both incredulity and indifference on the sub- 
ject. But in the present instance the love appears so real, so 
true, that the affection of the boy and girl (respectively played by 
Miss Buckstone and Mr. Bindloss) fades into comparative insig- 
nificance before the devotion of a man who has known and lived 
in a world of many and varied experiences. As a study of 
determination of purpose consistent, from first to last, in every 
tone and look nothing merits more unqualified praise than the 
character of Captain Craven, portrayed by Mr. Hermann Vezin. 
The finished style and elocution which may always be found in 
whatever part this gentleman undertakes are shown in the present 
instance to the greatest advantage. It is not Mr. Vezin's fault 
that the part is so abrupt and unsatisfactory. We are greatly in- 
clined to question the object of such a character as Captain 
Craven, and still more to seriously wonder what becomes of him. 
Such a palpable villain would not so easily have been allowed to 
wander where his fancy leads him, neither can such a proceeding 
prove satisfactory to any audience. But, as we have already 
said, this circumstance cannot weigh against Mr. Vezin's imperso- 
nation, except so far as it arouses regret that there does not exist 
greater scope for the display of such finished and earnest study. 
Whatever may be the ultimate fate of " Rachel," it will not fail 
from want of energy and determination of those who are severally 
engaged in it. The play arouses our sympathies and attention 
to a certain point, beyond which the curtain falls, leaving us to 
realize through imagination that which we desire to do in reality. 

MAY i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 307 

<S>ut mnibus Boy. 

T") EGARDING the amateur controversy that has recently been 
Xv debated with some warmth, it is as well to see, at the outset, what 
Mr. Henry Irving did say, and to correct what he did not utter, owing to 
accidental misrepresentation. Speaking confidentially, no doubt, in a 
society of friends, and in a semi- sportive style, in answer to a toast to his 
health, gracefully proposed by his old friend Mr. J. L. Toole, allusion was 
made by Mr. Irving to several matters that affected the dramatic profes- 
sion. Never dreaming, it is presumed, of the presence of the reporter, or 
caring to polish his periods for publicity, Mr. Irving is supposed to have 
spoken as follows : " For this result [the amateur craze], I cannot help 
thinking the actors themselves are a little to blame, because of the support 
they have accorded to these amateur performances. We were all amateurs 
at one time, and all earnest amateurs hope to become actors ; but until 
they do become actors, I think it is a pity the actors should support them 
in the way they do by taking part in their performances." Now, surely 
there is a good deal of sound common sense in all this. Mr. Irving is 
not in the habit of talking nonsense, and he would be the last man in 
the world to hinder any legitimate study for the stage. Amateur acting 
is no more reprehensible than amateur painting, amateur singing, amateur 
decorating, amateur carving, or amateur writing. Besides, as has been 
repeatedly urged in these pages, amateur actors are the best patrons of 
the stage, and take more interest in it than any other section of society. 
If clever amateurs had not been encouraged, we should have had no 
Irvings, no Tooles, no actors or actresses at all of any standing whatever. 
So learned a student of his art as Mr. Irving is not likely to stultify 
himself. The manager who instantly gave engagements to young Mr. 
Benson, of Agamemnon fame at Oxford, to Mr. Child the best male, and 
to Miss Millward the best female, representative of modern amateurs, 
would scarcely consider it in accordance with consistency to ridicule the 
interest taken by amateurs in dramatic art. But after all, Mr. Henry Irving is 
not singular in his desire to encourage probable or possible talent wherever 
he finds it. Mr. Bancroft, who sat next to Mr. Irving at the gathering where 
the discussion arose, instantly engaged Mrs. Langtry. The Messrs. Gatti, 
in want of a clever and capable actress, immediately engaged Miss 
Eweretta Lawrence. Mr. John Clayton quickly summoned Mr. Gilbert 
Farquhar to the Court Theatre. Mr. Augustus Harris was not slow in 
securing the services of Mrs. Maddick. And if all turns out well, there is 
no reason why these amateurs should not become as useful to the profes- 
sion as the Arthur Cecils, the Beerbohm-Trees, the Brookfields, and their 
companions, who have become recognized and clever actors. There is no 
sin in being an amateur ; but the difficulty is what to do with them " until 
they become actors," as Mr. Irving wisely pointed out. 

The enthusiasm that has been expended on the raw material the artist 
in its rough and unfinished state is due to society and the public alone. 

308 THE THEATRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

They are alone at fault for the nonsense that has agitated the professional 
world. The dramatic profession by " Boycotting" amateurs cannot check 
their unwarrantable vanity, but society can, and the public eventually will. 
Society has gone mad on the subject of acting. From despising and 
ridiculing the profession, people have gone to the opposite extreme of 
flattering, fawning upon, and entertaining those who were far better left 
alone. It is impossible to go out anywhere now-a-days without hearing the 
most ridiculous nonsense talked about the stage by those who have had 
no experience whatever of the life of actor or actress. If a smart super- 
ficial lady, with good looks and superior self-consciousness, has been 
deserted by or separated from her husband, if a pretty governess is sick of 
teaching, if a clever orphan is left penniless, society, as represented by a 
lot of silly women, is determined that the interesting individual shall go 
upon the stage. A mere tyro, the rawest of amateurs, is accordingly started 
upon her career, with a capital of overwhelming flattery. A theatre is 
hired, friends and acquaintances are bored and bullied into taking tickets, 
afternoon teas are made into dramatic agencies, dramatic critics are bored 
out of their lives to take an interest in people of whom they have never 
heard in their existence, and concerning whose career they are absolutely 
indifferent ; they are presented to this lady, they are introduced to that, 
they are asked " to be kind" to poor Mrs. Snooks, whose husband behaved 
so badly to her, and to deal gently with lovely Miss Robinson, who was 
left penniless by her improvident father, and at last the day arrives. The 
house is packed with sycophants, bouquets are purchased in profusion, and 
a forced success is obtained in the teeth of the independent judgment of 
every honest soul in the house. When bouquets rain upon the stage and 
applause rings in the critic's ear, what courteous gentleman would dare to 
say what he believes to be the truth that the whole thing is false and 
contemptible from first to last. 

The only way to stop these ridiculous exhibitions is for the public to 
speak out, and to " damn" the next incompetent amateur who insults their 
intelligence. The performances are ostensibly for the public, and the 
public ought not to pass that which is an outrage on art, and a bit of silly 
impertinence. The profession can do nothing when their ranks are re- 
cruited from amateur clubs and societies. The managers can say nothing 
who engage and profit by every amateur who is talked about. The critics, 
in the face of a manufactured success, can only state an individual opinion, 
which is stultified by the shouts, the cheering, and the bouquets. The 
remedy is in the hands of the people. If there were any serious interest in 
the matter the independent public would attend, as they did in the old days, 
and hiss such people off the stage without any ceremony whatever. No 
amateur in the world, supported by the whole of the flowers in Covent 
Garden, can stand against the "Off! off!" which they often so righteously 
deserve. Mutual admiration societies have flourished too long. Let the public 
voice decide the matter one way or the other. Prejudice, spite, animosity, 
animus, jealousy, sourness of temper, or Heaven knows what, would be 
awarded to the critic who dared say a woman or man had no idea of acting, 
when the theatre is packed with flatterers who agree to act a falsehood, 

MAY i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 39 

who say that the acting is good which they believe to be bad, and who 
applaud with both hands the wretched exhibition of Miss Debutante for the 
sake of currying favour with Lady Tomkins. 

But it is all very well to talk. The stage proper is in need of just as 
much wholesome supervision as these mixed amateur and professional 
performances. Now-a-days, it is clearly in the interest of a manager to 
pack a first-night house in order to prejudice or to stifle critical opinion. 
Now-a-days a first-night audience has grown to be one monstrous claque of 
formidable dimensions. The free and independent pit and the clear- 
sighted gallery have apparently yielded up their office, so admirably and 
fairly exercised, in favour of those who with obvious insincerity applaud that 
which is silly, encourage all that is vulgar, and summon for congratulation 
the author of the most wretched plays on record. To be cheered must 
surely have ceased to be a compliment when the manufacturer of doggrel 
is treated the same as the literary dramatist. Before we talk about 
amateurs let us look at home. The critics can do no more than record 
their conscientious opinions, and, having shown what nonsense has been 
written, proceed to state how wonderfully it has been received. What is 
the impression on the public mind ? That the critic is doing his utmost 
to do the author as much harm as he can instead of doing his duty by the 
public, who are guided by his utterances. Fair-play is a jewel all round, 
and foul play is never exercised in connection with plays or player ; but 
surely dramatic art suffers as much from unwholesome flattery as it would 
ever be likely to do from caustic criticism. Columns of exaggerated praise 
are due to the inertness of the public in not instantly condemning and 
repressing what is radically silly and intrinsically vulgar. What wonder 
that amateurs are made out to be geniuses of the first water, when plays are 
passed that are beneath the intellect of children in an educated age. 
Dramatic art all round demands the corrective voice of public opinion. 
Without it comments are useless and criticism is in vain. 

Mr. Henry Irving is to be earnestly thanked for having published in a 
handy and convenient form Talma's " Essay on the Actor's Art" (Bickers 
and Son, Leicester Square), which was originally translated for and pub- 
lished in THE THEATRE when it appeared in newspaper form every week. 
To Talma's criticism, which is in reality a minute description of the art and 
method of Le Kain, Mr. Irving has added a very excellent and pithy 
preface, which goes at once to the root of the difficulty of the actor's art. 
He adds to his remarks at least one " golden rule" : " The actor should 
have the art of thinking before he speaks. Of course, there are passages 
in which thought and language are borne along by the stream of emotion 
and completely intermingled. But more often it will be found that the 
most natural, the most seemingly accidental effects are obtained when 
the working of the mind is visible before the tongue gives it words." A 
most admirable doctrine surely, and highly to be commended. The 
audience feels the power and influence of such a method, though it fails to 
discover why. An actor who follows this principle is sure to create atten- 
tion. But the great merit of Talma's essay, as Mr. Irving has pointed out, 

310 THE THEATRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

is the stress he lays upon the value of co-operation of " sensibility and 
intelligence." In point of fact, no actor or actress can be really good 
without a combination of heart and brain. You may act with very little of 
either; you cannot influence without the possession of both. Every 
student of the art should peruse this essay, and, apart from the pleasure he 
will derive from it, he will, by so doing, be benefiting the Actors' Benevolent 
Fund, for whose profit it is sold. 

When the history of theatrical patents is written, some one will be anxious 
to quote the following facts, which I clip from that admirable Monday 
morning article, by the ever-accurate Moy Thomas, in the Daily Ntws : 
" The forthcoming sale of the Queen's Theatre, Dublin, in the Land 
Judges' Court in that city, brings to light the fact that this well-known 
house is carried on under the sanction of a Royal patent granted about 
eleven years ago, whereby for a space of twenty-one years the owners, 
lessees, and managers were exempted from the customary obligation to 
apply to the magistrates for an annual licence. From this extraordinary 
document it seems that even as late as 1872 dramatic monopoly in Ireland 
was officially considered to be fully established and very closely guarded. 
It also appears that the framers of the patent were not aware that the old 
unjust restrictions upon the minor London playhouses in favour of Covent 
Garden and Drury Lane had then for thirty years ceased to exist ; for, 
according to the official particulars of sale, it confers only the right ' to act, 
represent, and perform concerts, feats of horsemanship, fantoccini ballets, 
melodramas, pantomimes, operatic pieces, and such other exhibitions as 
are usually given at the Lyceum Theatre, the Haymarket Theatre, the 
Coburg Theatre, the Surrey Theatre, the Adelphi Theatre, the East 
London Theatre, and any other of the minor theatres in the City of 
London, of whatever nature or kind, if decent and becoming, and not 
profane or obnoxious/ At the same time it is set forth that the managers 
are ' prohibited from the performance of the regular drama, the liberty of 
which performance has been granted to the patentees of the Theatre Royal, 
Hawkins Street, Dublin.' It will be observed that the official draughtsman 
was not only rather behindhand in his information regarding the history 
and conditions, and even the names of the London theatres, but also some- 
what confused in his notions of London topography ; for it happens that no 
one of the houses which the patent describes as being ' in the City of 
London,' is either in the City or within the City liberties." 

The first of our photographs this month is that of Miss Eastlake, who is 
now playing the leading female rdle'm the drama of " The Silver King" at 
the Princess's Theatre. Miss Mary Eastlake, who is a native of Norwich, 
made her first appearance on the stage when very young at the Crystal 
Palace, playing Leonie in " The Ladies' Battle." In December of the same 
year she acted Annie in an adaptation of Alfred Tennyson's "Enoch 
Arden," at the Crystal Palace. On the 23rd of the same month she 
entered into an engagement with Mr. Alexander Henderson for the Criterion 
Theatre, where she appeared as the heroine in " Dorothy's Stratagem/' On 


First thank the Giver of all good.' 



Every man is odd.' 


MAY i,iS83.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 311 

January 21, 1877, at an afternoon performance at the Gaiety Theatre, she 
represented Maria in " The School for Scandal." On February 5 she acted 
Mrs. Lovibond in "On Bail" at the Criterion. On the i4th of the next 
month she re-appeared at the Crystal Palace as Margaret in "Henry 
Dunbar." On March 31 she sustained the character of Mrs. Greythorne 
in the first performance of " Pink Dominoes" at the Criterion Theatre. In 
May of the same year she again appeared at the Crystal Palace, acting 
Gretchen on the i6th of that month, and afterwards Arrah in " Arrah-na- 
Pogue." In September, 1878, she played a small part in "The Idol" at 
the Folly Theatre, and on December 2 following she played Miss Burnside 
in " The Crisis" at the Haymarket. On November 20, 1880, she acted 
Madge in "Where's the Cat?" at the Criterion Theatre, and on May 17, 
1 88 1, she represented Constance Leyton in "Butterfly Fever," at the same 
theatre. On July 2, following, she made her first appearance at the 
Princess's Theatre as Lilian Westbrook in " The Old Love and the New/ 
At the same theatre, on September 10 of the same year, she appeared as 
Bess Marks in "The Lights o' London;" on June 10, 1882, she acted 
Gertie Heckett in " The Romany Rye," and on November 16 of the same 
year she played Nellie Denver in " The Silver King." 

Mr. Johnston Forbes-Robertson, the subject of one of our photographs 
this month, is the eldest son of Mr. John Forbes-Robertson, the art 
historian and critic. He was born in London in 1853, and educated at 
Charterhouse, and in France. Admitted student to the Royal Academy of 
Arts in 1870, he made his first appearance on the stage four years later 
(March, 1874), as Chastelard, in "Mary Stuart," at the Princess's Theatre. 
He next played James Annesley, in the " Wandering Heir," in London, 
Manchester, and Birmingham. He then joined the company of the late 
Mr. Charles Calvert, at the Prince's Theatre, Manchester, where he sup- 
ported the late Mr. Samuel Phelps and others, and acted the Prince of 
Wales in a revival of the second part of " Henry IV.," Lysander in the 
" Midsummer-Night's Dream," and Mercutio. Returning to London, he 
remained for two seasons at the Gaiety Theatre, supporting Mr. Phelps in 
the following, amongst other, characters : Peregrine in " John Bull," 
Faulkland in " The Rivals," Joseph Surface in " The School for Scandal," 
Cromwell in " Henry VIII.," Antonio in " The Merchant of Venice," and 
Baradas in " Richelieu." He accepted an engagement at the Olympic 
Theatre, and in April, 1875, he played in " Anne Boleyn," at the Hay- 
market Theatre. In July, 1876, he acted the part of the Abbe de la Rose 
in "Corinne," at the Haymarket Theatre. On September ir, 1876, [he 
appeared as Geoffrey Wynyard in " Dan'l Druce," at the Haymarket. At 
Easter, 1877, he returned to the Olympic, where he acted for two seasons? 
appearing as Jeremy Diddler, George Talboys, Sir Frederick Blunt in 
" Money," and Edgar Greville in " The Turn of the Tide." He then 
went to the Prince of Wales' Theatre to play in " Diplomacy;" and at the 
Lyceum he acted in " Zillah," and was the original Sir Horace Welby in 
" Forget-Me-Nor." In September, 1879, he returned to the Prince of 
Wales', and acted there Dick Fanshaw in " Duty," and Sergeant Jones in 

3 1 2 THE THE A TRE. [MAY r, 1883. 

"Ours." Going with Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft's company to the Hay- 
market Theatre, he played there Lord Glossmere in " Money," and Krux 
in " School." Returning once more to the Prince of Wales', he acted 
Sir Horace Welby at that theatre, and Koenraad Deel in " Annie-Mie." 
In December of the same year (1880) he went to the Court Theatre, to 
support Madame Modjeska as Maurice du Saxe in " Adrienne Lecouvreur," 
Armand Duval in " Heartsease," Romeo, Don Carlos in "Juana," and 
De Valreas in " Frou-Frou." He played in the provinces with Madame 
Modjeska; and on June 4, 1881, he appeared, also with Madame 
Modjeska, as De Valreas, at the Princess's Theatre. On April 8, 1882, 
he acted Claude Glynne in " The Parvenu," at the Court Theatre ; and 
on October 1 1 following he represented Claudio in the revival of " Much 
Ado About Nothing" at the Lyceum. 

Mdlle. Eugenie Legrand, an actress who has won considerable success 
in America, may possibly appear in London ere long. Though a French- 
woman by birth, Mdlle. Legrand is said to speak English fluently. She 
was born in Paris, and studied at the Conservatoire in company with the 
younger Coquelin, and Mdlles. Reichemberg and Sophie Croizette. She 
graduated with honours and acted for a season in the same theatre as 
Mdlle. Sara Bernhardt the Ode'on. Thence she went to the Vaudeville, 
playing in such pieces as " Les Faux Bonshommes'' and " Un Menage 
en Ville" of Theodore Barriere. Her next engagement was at the London 
Opera Comique, with Mdlle. Dejazet, where she met with a success in 
" Le Passant" of M. Frangois Coppe'e. She then studied English, and 
came out at Sadler's Wells Theatre as Katherine in " The Taming of the 
Shrew," afterwards acting there with success as Juliet, Desdemona, and 
Ophelia. She next acted the part of the Princess Katherine in the late 
Mr. Charles Calvert's revival of " Henry V." at Manchester. She then 
played for several seasons in the Australian colonies, and afterwards in 
America. Besides the characters already named, her repertory includes 
those of Camille, Adrienne Lecouvreur, Gilberte in " Frou-Frou," Mercy 
Merrick in "The New Magdalen," Pauline in the "Lady of Lyons," 
Beatrice, Rosalind, Viola, and others. 

On March 28, Miss Wallis commenced a series of matinees at the Gaiety 
Theatre. She opened with a representation of " Cymbeline," sustain- 
ing the character of Imogen successfully, and with much grace. She was 
ably supported by a company which included Mr. J. H. Barnes and Mr. 
E. S. Willard. Mr. Willard represented lachimo with so much art and 
fascinating manner that his performance became the leading feature of 
the representation. Miss Wallis afterwards played Adrienne Lecouvreur 
with much strength and ability, and gave a charming rendering of 
Rosalind. The fourth performance of the series took place on April 17, 
when a comedy-drama in three acts, written by Mr. Frederick Eastwood, 
and entitled " The Decoy," was produced with the following cast : 

Roland Westlake ... MR. JOSEPH CARNE. 
Captain Ashford ... MR. JULIAN CROSS. 
The Hon. Jack landem MR. FRANK STAUNTON. 


Michael MR. MOKULLI. 

1 nnk 



Madeline Ashford ... Miss WALLIS. 
Helen Miss H. O'MALLEY. 

MAY i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 313 

This piece proved an unfortunate failure, and not all the efforts of Miss 
Wallis could secure for it a permanent success. On April 24 Miss Wallis 
acted Julia in "The Hunchback," a character for which she seemed 
specially fitted. This was her first appearance in the role in London. 

What time the present century was growing into its teens, a Right 
Honourable gentleman and a noble Earl met one day in a certain street, which 
another noble Earl of architectural proclivities, then deceased, had planned 
to wit, Richard, third and last of the Boyles, who bore the title of Bur- 
lington, after whose wife, the Lady Dorothy Savile, the elder daughter and 
co-heir of William of Halifax, this same Savile Street by-and-by came to be 
called. My Lady Dorothy's husband, you will remember, was Garrick's 
Burlington, and so, at least, it was shrewdly surmised in Society about 
the year 1749 a very near relative indeed of that lovely Eva Maria Veigel, 
then better known by her Gallicized nom de theatre, La Violette, who, on 
the 22nd of June in the year above mentioned, became the wife of David 
Garrick, Esq., co-patentee and manager of Drury Lane Theatre. Mr. 
Garrick's successor in the patent and the management was eventually the- 
Right Hon. Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan, and the noble Earl whom 
Mr. Sheridan met that morning in Savile Street or Savile Row, as it was 
then beginning to be called was my Lord Guilford, a son of the sometime 
Premier who, besides his title, had inherited something of the " infinite wit 
and humour" with which Burke has credited his sire. Mr. Sheridan had 
recently taken a house in Savile Row No. 14 and, like the amiable 
paver of Pandemonium that he was, steadfastly purposed to lead a new 
life from the date of the indenture he had just signed. There were, he told' 
the Earl, to be henceforth no more irregularities. " We shall now," Mr. 
Sheridan said, with his air of perfect conviction " we shall now go on like 
clock-work." " Aye," returned my Lord, with a considerable grin, " to be 
sure you will tick, tick, till the clock stops." 

The object of this little pleasantry laughed at it no doubt, just as frankly 
as its author. Richard Brinsley had gone on " ticking" so long, and so 
successfully, as it would seem to him, that he did not believe in the stopping 
of the clock at all. When he had ticked himself out of No. 14, he took 
another lease that of No. 17 and another batch of good resolutions one 
may be sure. When from No. 17 he was haled to the Took's Court 
sponging house, though he wrote that philippic to Whitbread, though he 
wept at the indignity the bailiffs clutch had done his person, yet Whit- 
bread found him next morning in Cursitor Street, confidently calculating on 
his return for Westminster, where the proceedings pending against Lord 
Cochrane were providentially to cause a vacancy. Six weeks before the 
end came he indited that " afflicting note" which Tom Moore and Rogers, 
found on the latter's table in the small hours of the ioth of May, 1816. 

" I am," he scrawled, " absolutely undone and broken-hearted 

They are going to put the carpets out of window, and break into Mrs. S.'s 
room, and take me. For God's sake let me see you." And lo ! when Tom> 
visited him, by-and-by, he found him full- voiced and bright- eyed, chirping 
over the price he was going to get for the collected edition of his plays, and 


THE THEATRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

certain as ever of being able to put everything all right, once he were out 
of bed. Only at the very last, perhaps, though he had had a bishop to 
read prayers at his bedside, did he, or would he, realize that "all the wheels 
were down." As the shadow of death fell upon him, they heard him say, 
" Good-bye." Then, in that front bed-room of No. 17, two hours later, 
on the stroke of noon, that first Sunday in July, the clock whereof my 
Lord Guilford had spoken stopped for good and all. 

Dublin amateurs have for a long time past been regarded as a " secret 
society" they were known to exist, but no more ; at length they have 
been brought to light, and the result has been a perfect explosion of per- 
formances. The first occurred on March 19, at the Gaiety, in aid of the 
Drummond Institution, under the patronage of the Lord Lieutenant and 
the Countess Spencer, the plays produced being the one-act drama, " Our 
Bitterest Foe/' and Mr. G. W. Godfrey's comedy, " The Parvenu." The 
performance was in every way excellent, certainly one of the best that has 
yet been seen in Dublin, the cast including Captains Somerset Maxwell, 
Fowns, and McCalmont, names well known to dwellers by the Liffey; they 
were assisted by Miss Clara Cowper of the " Compton" Company, and Mrs. 
Kemys of the " Court " Company. Captain McCalmont is now as well- 
known a figure on the Gaiety boards, as on the daisies at Punchestown, 
and possessing considerable natural humour, always makes his part, at 
least, go well, and the present instance was no exception, his repre- 
sentation of Mr. Ledger being very fine. Miss Cowper's reputation was 
made in Dublin long ago, when playing with the " Compton" Company, 
yet we have never seen her to better advantage than in the part of Mary 
Ledger, which she acted with easy unaffected grace. Mrs. Kemy's 
Gwendolen Pettigrew pleased everybody, her appearance was prepossess- 
ing, and her voice and elegance enhanced the beauty of the character 
considerably. Captain Maxwell was evidently at home in the part of Charles 
Tracy, consequently his audience felt at home too, and he also appeared 
to advantage in the opening piece as Henri, as did Mr. R. Martin as the 
Prussian General. 

The next performance in Dublin was on Tuesday, March 20, also at 
the Gaiety, and was given by Mrs. Proctor in aid of the funds of the 
Coombe Hospital. Three short pieces were presented " Perfection ; or, 
the Lady of Munster" ; "Who Speaks First?" and " Betty Martin," the 
intervals being filled up by vocal selections. Mrs. Proctof appeared in all 
three plays as Kate O'Brien, Mrs. Ernest Militant, and Betty ; she was 
good in all, but decidedly best as Mrs. Militant, playing this character 
with perfect self-possession, and obtaining hearty applause. Mr. Proctor 
played well as Sir Lawrence Paragon ; while Mr. Pirn as Ernest Militant, 
Mr. Battersby as Charles, and Mr. John Percival as Captain Charles, were 
moderately good, and Miss Parkinson acted capitally in the soubrette 

MAY i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 315 

The third venture was made by the "Rathrnines Histrionic Club" at 
their bijou theatre in the Rink, the pieces played being Mr. Boucicault's 
" Kerry" and Mr. F. W. Broughton's " Withered Leaves." This perform- 
ance took place on March 29. " Kerry ' ; was repeated the next night, 
with the addition of the farce, " Done on Both Sides." This is at present 
the only organized club in Dublin, and enjoys considerable popularity, but 
a mistake was made in attempting to perform " Kerry." The title role 
was certainly well filled by Mr. Marslen, the star of this particular system, 
but the other parts were weak in the extreme. Miss Wallace as Mrs. 
Desmond did try occasionally to shake off the drowsiness which seemed 
to have descended on herself and the others. The mesmeric influence 
proved too strong, and when the curtain descended it was to a depressed 
audience. Mr. Crofton (Gerald Desmond) came on the stage apparently 
looking for something which up to the fall of the act-drop he had not 
found. Miss Maud May as Kate pitched her voice in so high a key as to 
be scarcely intelligible. There was a decided improvement noticeable in 
the comedietta, in which the amateurs were more at home. 

On April 12, a theatrical event of more than local interest took 
place in Hull. This was the production of a new play by Mr. T. W. 
Robertson, son of the author of " Caste." In addition to any hereditary 
talent for play-writing he may possess, Mr. Robertson has the more 
certain advantage of an actor's practical acquaintance with the stage, 
although it must never be forgotten that the author of " Caste" was a 
stock actor for many years before he abandoned the stage for literature. 
His first experiment bears the pretty, sentimental title, "Other Days." 
If sub-titles were fashionable, it might be called, " Other Days : an 
English Idyll;" for it is, in its main outline, a simple tale of English 
country life, set in a background of fields and hedgerows, within sight of 
the sea. It tells how a London actor came to a little village on the coast 
and won the heart of the vicar's niece ; how he vindicated his profession 
against some rather coarse clerical abuse, and acted with generosity in for- 
bearing to offer his hand to a girl who, in the opinion of her friends, would 
be degraded by its acceptance ; how this generous act, together with the 
discovery of his close relationship to the vicar, defeated its own end, 
secured the happiness of the lovers, and, as the "tag" has it, reconciled 
Church and Stage. 

It will be seen that Mr. Robertson has boldly adapted to stage purpose 
what is, in reality, a disagreeable subject the social disqualification that 
some people would still impose on those who make the theatre their 
profession. It may be doubted whether a subject that requires such 
delicate handling is good material for a first play. Apart from its 
subject-matter, " Other Days" is open to criticism on the side of con- 
struction. It seems gratuitous, for example, to invent a long story to 
prove that the actor is the parson's son. A reconciliation might have been 
effected with less strain on the imagination. Besides, this way of healing 
the difference destroys half the moral the writer is trying to point. He 

Y 2 

THE THEATRE. [MAY i, ,883-. 

should have made the reconciliation between members of professions, 
vulgarly supposed to be antagonistic, natural and spontaneous. He oughts 
not to have, in a manner, forced the actor down the parson's throat by 
making them father and son. 

But, in spite of these things, Mr. Robertson has produced a play which 
friends of experience in his profession are right in saying is not a great* 
play, but one of considerable promise. It is marked throughout by a real' 
appreciation of the sentiment of English country life. It contains no 
exciting incidents. Instead, we have portraits of the familiar characters of 
village life, the venerable parson with the narrow ideas of some of his 
class, the doctor with a rude, caustic wit redeemed by much good nature, 
the old verger and gravedigger with the characteristics, half pathetic, half 
humorous, of his order. " Other Days" is simply the tale of an eventful 
day at a country parsonage, told not without skill. 

Never, in my humble opinion, has Miss Fanny Leslie proved herself to- 
be such an artist as by her performance of Prince Caprice, in the gorgeous 
entertainment known as " A Voyage to the Moon" at Her Majesty's Theatre. 
To identify such a lady with burlesque, in the ordinary acceptation of the 
term, is to underrate a very remarkable talent. Combined with a vivacity 
and spirit that are absolutely infectious, always working at a part without 
unnecessarily obtruding her individuality, merry but never forced, and lively 
without showing a trace of exaggeration, Miss Leslie is an example 
to the lighter comedians of the lyric stage. But in her singing there is a 
far higher art. When she has a ballad to sing she charges it with feeling 
and true dramatic expression ; when she has a song to act as well as to sing, 
she throws all her nature into the interpretation of it. Indeed, few people 
had any idea how well Miss Fanny Leslie could sing until she appeared as 
Prince Caprice, and added such spirit and intelligence to an excellent: 

There has passed away another link between the theatrical memories of 
the past and present. Down at Shanklin, in the Isle of Wight, the pro- 
prietor of one of the most charming and cosy hotels I have ever visited' J( 
lived Archibald Hinton, who was once intimately connected with the 
popular amusements of the hour. Long years ago, in the pretty gardens 
at Highbury Barn, Hinton was ever delighted to welcome to his house the 
theatrical artists, the singers, and the literary men of the day. From there 
he flitted to the Anerley Gardens, near Norwood, having ever a taste for 
continental and alfresco entertainments, now closed up and forbidden by a 
senseless and inane form of legislation. Once more he moved to Cherbourg, 
in France, where he kept an excellent hotel, then to Hayling Island, and 
last to that sunny retreat at Shanklin where, in just such lovely spring 
weather as we are now enjoying, I have had many a walk and talk with the 
interesting old gentleman, who was never so happy as when he had under 
his roof any one connected with literature, the drama, or the fine arts. 
Now that the time has come round again for a pilgrimage amongst the 

MAY r, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 317 

ivild flowers growing about Shanklin, the Landslip, and the Undercliffe, I 
feel that I have lost an old companion, who had a bright memory, well 
^stocked with theatrical lore. A more active-minded and energetic man I 
cnever met. 

The play of " Shadow and Sunshine" by Mr. R. Palgrave, which was 
produced for the first time in Edinburgh on the 3oth of March, by Miss 
Bateman, is likely to prove a pleasant change to " Leah." Mr. Palgrave's 
drama is pretty sure to become popular, as in addition to an interesting 
plot, several of the characters are very ably drawn, and the piece is studded 
with some remarkably strong situations. In the first act we are introduced 
rto two brothers, the younger of whom, in good old Jacob-like fashion, has 
succeeded in getting the father's blessing and fortune, and not being an 
.individual who cares about doing things by halves, he marries the girl who 
is unfortunately loved by the elder brother as well. That worthy being a 
man of as little principle as fortune, poisons Guy Dangerfield, the successful 
brother, and succeeds even in partly throwing suspicion on Alice, the wife, 
as the murderer of her husband. The second act commences six years 
.after this, when we find that Alice has taken unto herself another husband, 
to wit, a Martin Elmsley, a worthy soul, who never dreams of his wife 
'having been tried for the murder of her first husband. The wicked brother 
.again appears on the scene under the name of Dalton, and by working 
upon the poor woman's fears, induces her to flee from her home. The 
plot at this stage is further complicated by Jack Dangerfield, a son of 
Alice's, and a suitor for the hand of Elmsley's daughter, Maude, who is 
also wooed by the son of Hester Steel, an old admirer of Elmsley's. Mrs. 
Steel, her son, and Dalton manage not only to drive Alice to the verge of 
despair, but succeed through it in feathering their own nest in a round- 
about way, till the arrival of Jack from a long voyage, who, with the 
co-operation of Delper, a most humorous detective, turns the tables, 
.getting Dalton arrested, and restoring Alice to the love of her husband. 
The characters, particularly those of Alice, Hester Steel, and Delper, show 
much cleverness in their drawing. The dialogue is concisely written and 
free from forced wit. 

The last night of " Caste," as performed by Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft and 
ttheir admirable company at the Haymarket Theatre on Friday evening, 
the i3th of April, 1883, was no less memorable an event than the first per- 
formance of " Caste" at the Prince of Wales' Theatre on April 6, 1867. 
I happen to be one of the odd dozen or so of spectators who were present 
on both occasions, and nothing could well efface the impression that both 
evenings created on the mind. The night in 1867 was the turning-point 
in the career of the Robertsonian comedies, and the foundation of the 
.success of Mrs. Bancroft's enterprise. Doubts had been freely expressed 
as to Robertson's position as a dramatist when " Society" was produced. 
They disappeared a little more when " Ours" became famous ; and on the 
principle that there is luck in odd numbers, they vanished completely 
with the triumph that " Caste" obtained. This was the foundation of the 

3i8 THE THEATRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

fortune of the dramatist, and equally so of his enterprising friends at 
the Prince of Wales' Theatre, who had so thoroughly believed in his talent. 
It is quite true no doubt that Robertson could scarcely have become the 
Robertson that he was, and the Robertson as we now know him to be, 
without the assistance of the inimitable art that he called into play ; but 
at the same time it must in all candour be acknowledged that it was 
Robertson who fitted every individual member of the company like a 
glove, who studied their individual eccentricities and idiosyncrasies, and 
who put forward the talent of all in the best possible light. 

The only false note in the natural sentiment displayed on what has been 
most erroneously called the " farewell performance" of " Caste," was, to my 
mind, the consistent and apparently intentional ignoring of everything con- 
nected with the author of t; Caste." There seemed to be a determination 
to emphasize the fact that because Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft and Mr. Hare will 
play in "Caste" no more not because the public do not desire to see them 
in their old parts, but because they have come to a conclusion which the 
public are bound to respect that therefore " Caste" is a dead play until the 
end of time. For my own part, I do not believe that I for one shall ever 
see again such a Polly Eccles, such a Captain Hawtree, or such a Sam 
Gerridge. To my mind, such perfect acting in its way cannot be found. 
But I do not desire to force that opinion upon posterity. Many of us 
even thought that we should never see again such an Eccles as George 
Honey, or such an Esther Eccles as Lydia Foote ; but we lived to find 
that we were wrong. Seeing, then, that " Caste" is just as much a standard 
play now as it ever was, seeing that it is just as open to the management 
of the Haymarket Theatre to put it up in 1885 as in 1883, seeing that the 
vitality and popularity of the play has been proved by the recent demon- 
stration, it strikes one as being a little hard that the future of " Caste" 
should be prejudiced in the eyes of the public and of its present possessors. 
All that has happened is that the plays of Robertson pass into the 
possession of the son and daughter both artists of the man who helped 
to make the fortune of the Prince of Wales' Theatre. They belong hence- 
forward to the natural heirs of the man who wrote them, and it may occur 
to many that the grace of relinquishing the copyright would have been 
heightened by passing them on with goodwill to Mr. Robertson's children, 
and by wishing them well for the future, instead of so strongly insisting on 
the fact that the " farewell performance" of u Caste," as we have seen it, is 
virtually the death of " Caste" now and for evermore. No one can have 
studied the acting of Mrs. Stirling as the Marquise, of Mr. David James as 
Eccles, and of Miss Florence Gerard as Esther, without coming to the 
conclusion that in some respects " Caste" is better played now than it was 
sixteen years ago. Why should it not in many respects be as well played 
sixteen years hence ? For the life of me I cannot see. The author of 
" Caste," still less his descendants, were surely not the persons to be stultified 
in any compliment paid to Robertson's old and well-tried companions. 

The demonstration on the last night of "Caste," the flowers, the cheers, the 
enthusiasm, and the tears, were in reality a very proper tribute to the com- 
bined genius and skill of Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft and Mr. Hare, who met 

MAY i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 319 

together again on the stage after a long separation. Had each one or all 
of them been taking a farewell of the stage, they could not have been 
greeted with greater affection and respect. Never did those artists more 
thoroughly deserve so marked a compliment, for they have one and all done 
much for the stage that they so conspicuously adorn. The evening ex- 
hibited so much heartiness and goodwill that it is all the more to be re- 
gretted that there should be one false ring in the sentiment, and one that 
could so easily have been corrected. To publicly announce that " Caste" 
or " School" are played "for positively the last time" is absolutely incon- 
sistent with fact. The best possible authority for the contradiction is that 
of the present owners of their father's copyrights. 

In the matter of Justinian Bracegirdle and a " Commentator," whom I 
mentioned here lately, a correspondent tells me that, by his will, dated 
October 22, 1625, a certain bearer of the name " devises to his executors, 
&c., the Rectory of Mevis Ashby, in the county of Northampton, and the 
lands held therewith, for the maintenance of a number of scholars at the 
University of Oxford" the number of such scholars at first being ten, and 
the sum of ^10 being allowed to each. My correspondent suggests that 
this beneficent Bracegirdle may be the same Justinian whereof the " Com- 
mentator" made mention ; and that, if so, the fact of his being able to 
dispose in benefaction of such an amount of property would go to show 
that he was not at all a ruined man, but rather a country gentleman in easy 
circumstances. Presumably ; but dates are against the supposition that 
this testator was Anne Bracegirdle's father ; for she was not born till some 
eight and thirty years after the date of that will. Her grandfather he may 
have been. But then, if his circumstances warranted such a bequest, he 
must have had that 'decent estate to leave his son, Hume's father, which 
would, by-and-by, put the latter in a position to " become surety" for those 
friends who played him false. And so Leigh Hunt's " Commentator" may 
have been right after all. 

It is a curious and at the same time interesting study to observe how the 
greatest artists of our day differ in their conceptions and modes of portray- 
ing the varied emotions which make up the sum of existence, and influence 
the life of the child just as much as of those who have been brought into 
contact with the world and gained some experience of its mingled joys and 
sorrows. The collection of pictures by English artists now on view at the 
Fine Arts Society, New Bond Street, is an exhibition which endeavours to 
portray some of the many phases of child-life ; consequently it cannot fail 
to prove attractive, if only from the unlimited scope for individual thought 
and treatment of which it admits. As may be imagined, each work calls 
for separate and undivided attention, but even this does not save many of 
them from the great fault of failing to arouse our sympathies, the reason 
being that the study so often merges into a portrait instead of losing itself 
in the subject it attempts to delineate. Out of twenty- two pictures there 
are but two which can be truthfully affirmed realize to the fullest extent 
the poetry and imagination existent in the conception of the study. The 

320 THE THEA TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

sphere of life they represent is so wholly different, that each individual work 
can scarcely be criticized side by side ; but above and beyond this, there 
exists a sympathetic chord in all which touches our hearts by its simple 
natural truth. One of them is the work of Mr. Herkomer, entitled " Her 
Grandfather's Pet," the other " Her First Sorrow," by Marcus Stone. The 
former is a study of rustic life, and breathes throughout a supreme pathos 
and homeliness. An old man, whose days may fairly be supposed to 
number the allotted three score years and ten, is seated in front of the 
picture, facing us. The fine head, with its heavily-furrowed lines, is admi- 
rably portrayed, as is the half-absent expression of the face, telling of a 
mind which is slipping back to other days, and recalling the joys and 
sorrows they brought with them. His arm encircles the waist of a little 
girl who leans on his knee, and whose youthful face, unlike that of her 
grandfather's, speaks of an entire contentment with her present life, which, 
happily for her, possesses neither the power of recalling past sorrows nor 
revealing those which may be in store for her in the unknown future. The 
exquisitely harmonious colouring blends in with the soft light of the summer 
evening which steals through the small lattice window. The highest 
praise must be given Mr. Herkomer for the thoughtful, earnest study 
which characterizes his work. 

The second example we have quoted is, to our thinking, even more 
beautiful in its touching portrayal of the sorrows of childhood. The 
figure is that of a little girl of some seven or eight summers, clad in 
a white frock with deep yellow sash, whilst a single poppy nestles 
close to her throat. The Gainsborough hat proves a most artistic 
background for the sweet, plaintive little face before us. The lips are 
firmly set together with a mute expression of grief, which seems to be trying 
its utmost to keep the tears back. The grey blue eyes have a weary, heavy 
look about them, and the cause of all this sorrow is explained by the empty 
cage the girl holds in her hand, which will never again contain the little 
songster she loved so well. She treads upon a carpet composed of leaves 
of that deep reddish tint which bespeak the fall of the year, and these 
merge into a background of seared withered foliage. It would be scarcely 
possible to over-estimate the united beauty and pathos with which Mr. 
Marcus Stone's work is so full. 

The two studies by Mr. Leslie, entitled " The First Day of the Holidays," 
and the other side of the picture, when a fresh term has once more come 
round, are remarkable for their careful, sound work, but they fail to interest 
except as portraits, and the same may be said with regard to " A Sonatina," 
by J. Collier, which represents a girl playing a violin as she passes through 
an old gallery, the minute, careful painting of which is to be highly praised. 
" The Captive," by Millais, is seemingly another admirable portrait of a 
handsome girl, clad in a dress of the deepest blue, and carrying a dish filled 
with lemons intermixed with dark green leaves. The three studies by Mrs. 
Allingham are most clever in perfection of detail, which is still further ex- 
hibited in Mr. Alma Tadema's work, entitled " Settling a Difference." This 
picture must be seen to be appreciated, so impossible would it be to give 
an accurate idea of the careful study which has been bestowed on the in- 

MAY i, 1883.] 4 OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 3 21 

numerable objects of glass and silver on the dinner-table, intermingled with 
flowers and blue china. " The Captain of the Eleven," by P. H. Calderon, 
is a pleasing study of a handsome boy, but the colouring is inclined to be 
crude, whilst Sir F. Leighton's " Yasmeeneh" fails to prove attractive from 
its impossible delicacy of flesh colouring. Lastly, though not least, must 
we mention the picture by Briton Riviere, entitled "Mother Kubbard." 
How full of excitement is the mind of this little girl in the large mob-cap, as 
she timidly looks through the half-closed door, holding back the dog, who 
gazes into his young mistress's face as though demanding an explanation of 
her anxiety. This study is remarkable for its combination of power and 
simplicity, which renders it one of the most popular works of a collection 
which possesses so much that is attractive and worthy of praise. 

Mr. Millais' new picture entitled " The Stowaway," now being exhibited 
at the King Street Galleries, is deserving of careful consideration, were it 
only for the evident time and study which has been bestowed on the work. 
The figure is that of a young boy, clad in the poorest of rags, with naked 
feet, who crouches against a cask in the hold of a vessel, and with up- 
turned face gazes attentively at the glimmer of light which streams on him 
from above, whilst he listens half defiantly, half hopefully, for any sound 
which may come to break the awful stillness and quiet which surround 
him. It is needless to say that the whole power of the picture depends 
entirely on the expression of the face, which, left to our own imagination, 
we should in all probability conceive to be haggard and worn, with that 
hunted-down look resembling a wounded animal at bay. But such is not 
the case in the present instance. Instead of a boy who, even at the best of 
times, has been accustomed to wage war against privation and want, Mr. 
Millais has chosen for his subject a gently nurtured lad, who, for some 
unexplained reason, has run away from home to seek his fortune, though 
being apparently quite incapable of fighting his own battles. The ex- 
pression of the face can scarcely be called pleasing, and, strange as it may 
seem, its sense of refinement seems to jar upon us. It destroys the 
strength and dramatic power which constitute the life of the whole 
character take away the defiance of control, the loathing of injustice, and 
what remains ? A pleasing study or not, as the case may be, but neverthe- 
less one which possesses neither the power of arousing our sympathies or 
exciting our admiration. The subject, as we understand it, depends so 
entirely on strong dramatic instinct that without it, however beautiful the 
surrounding work may be considered, it can only be likened to a casket 
from which the jewel has been taken. Chief amongst the pictures con- 
tained in this exhibition is one by G. Pagluz, entitled, "The Naiads," 
which represents two nude figures of girls, one of whom, with outstretched 
hands raised above her head, reclines in a shell of pearl, whilst the other 
with her feet in the pure bright water leans half over her. The exquisitely 
graceful curves of the two figures entertwine one with the other in a perfect 
harmony of outline. A flight of seagulls whirl around them in the dark 
gloomy atmosphere as though foretelling an approaching storm. " Summer 
Moonlight," by H. Moore, is a charming study of mingled peace and 

322 THE THE A TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

rest, and the same may be said with regard to " Moonrise," by H. W. 
Davis. The picture by Frank Holl entitled " Hush," is full of earnest 
thought, which seems to grow upon us as we realize its perfections and 
allow them to steal into our hearts. 

Again they come, these books of " Readings and Recitations." Well, 
the more the merrier, for it is a popular and wholesome entertainment, and 
one in great favour just now, when we hear of " champion reciters," and 
prizes awarded to the most successful readers of a district. Clergymen 
must look to their laurels, being, as a rule, wholesale murderers of the 
Queen's English, and unable either to give effect to their own compositions 
or to the beautiful language contained in Holy Writ and the English Liturgy. 
The last book of the kind I have on my table is called " Select Readings 
and Recitations," by George W. Baynham (London : Blackie & Son, Old 
Bailey), and it is accompanied by rules and exercises on correct pronuncia- 
tion, gesture, tone, and emphasis. I have no doubt these rules are very 
valuable, but the two great things requisite are a good voice and a feeling 
heart. To these must be added an accurate ear for rhyme and rhythm. 
There is one part of the arrangement of the present volume with which I 
cannot possibly agree. Some of the most beautiful poems in the English 
language are printed as bald prose. Fancy Hood's " Bridge of Sighs,' 7 
Browning's " Pied Piper of Hamelin," Poe's " Raven," and Longfellow's 
" Death of Minnehaha" being printed as if they were written in prose I 
How is it possible to convey the natural effect if the metre is wholly 
destroyed ? Space economized by such a process is dearly earned. 

Apropos of" Jonathan Bradford" and the " Silver King." That peculiar 
playwright who to his patronymic Ball, prefixed his mother's maiden 
name, Fitz, and so became Fitzball, had, of course, when he came to do 
"Macaire" into what he was pleased to call English, no insurmountable 
scruples to prevent his heightening the interest of his piece by appropriating 
for two of its characters the real names of two prominent personages in a 
tragedy of real life, still remembered in 1833 to wit, Jonathan Bradford 
and Squire Hayes. The real Jonathan, however, was not at all the virtuous 
victualler which the exigencies of the French piece required Mr. Fitzball to 
make him out. He undoubtedly "went for" the Squire with that carving 
knife. The Squire's servant, though, having been beforehand with Mr. 
Bradford, the latter was presently found, just as an audience sees Denver, 
lethal weapon in hand, gazing at the corpse of his intended victim, " in 
a state of horror and astonishment." So far the " situations" are identical. 
The essential difference, of course, is that whereas Denver convinces himself 
he is a murderer, the Bradford of actuality found it impossible to convince 
anybody that he was not. 

Turning over Mrs. Carlyle's recently published " Letters" just now, I 
came across the following story of Macready. The actor and his wife had 
come to make a morning call in Cheyne Row : 

" Geraldine," says Mrs. Carlyle, " professed to be mightily taken with 

MAY i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 323 

Mrs. Macready, not so much with William. Poor dear William ! I never 
thought him more interesting, however. To see a man, who is exhibiting 
himself every night on a stage, blushing like a young girl in a private room, 
is a beautiful phenomenon for me. His wife whispered into my ear as we 
sat together on the sofa : ' Do you know, poor William is in a perfect agony 
to-day at having been brought here in that great-coat ? It is a stage great- 
coat, but was only worn by him twice j the piece it was made for did not 
succeed, but it was such an expensive coat, I would not let him give it 
away; and doesn't he look well in it ?' I wish Jeannie had seen him in 
the coat; magnificent fur neck and sleeves, and with such frogs in the front. 
He did look well, but so heartily ashamed of himself." 

Macready, by the way, could not always have been so acutely affected, 
when he wore off the stage a garment contaminated by connection with 
" the wretched art which I have been wasting my life upon," as he was 
pleased to call making ^2,000 or ,3,000 a year. Dickens sends him a 
note one evening from Devonshire Terrace, reminding him that he once 
gave the world assurance of a waistcoat. " You wore it, sir, I think, in 
' Money.' It was a remarkable and precious waistcoat, wherein certain broad 
stripes of blue or purple disported themselves as by a combination of extra- 
ordinary circumstances too happy to occur again. I have seen it on your 
manly chest in private life. I saw it, sir, I think the other day/' And so 
on, winding up with a request for the loan of this astounding habiliment to 
show to his tailor "as a sample of my tastes and wishes." Now this note 
was written in 1845, some five years after "Money" had been produced. 
Perhaps the " contamination" had been worn off by then. 

Mrs. Alfred Maddick was, I cannot help thinking, ill-advised to enter 
upon her career as an actress with so ambitious a programme. The pro- 
fession she has chosen to adopt is as much open to her as to any one else ; 
but how could she save by a miracle hope to succeed in the days of good 
sound acting as Lady Clancarty or as Julia in " The Hunchback," without 
learning how to express the passion she doubtless feels, or to interpret the 
dramatic despair that is at the root of both characters ? Such a beautiful stage 
face has not been seen since Adelaide Neilson first took London by storm, 
and it will doubtless be urged that at the outset this gifted actress had little 
to recommend her but her beauty and grace. Those who say so can 
never have seen her play Juliet originally at the Royalty Theatre, and at a 
scratch performance. I did ; but, apart from her rough accent and pro- 
vincial voice, there were the signs of very remarkable power, passion, and 
intense feeling. It was a rough diamond, but it was a diamond for all 
that. Mrs. Maddick has far more than Miss Neilson's difficulty of voice 
to contend with. She has a natural grace, ease, and elegance, such as we 
rarely see upon the stage ; but at present the spectator does not find that 
carry ing-a way force, intensity, and enthusiasm that are the passports to 
success. It is not so much that the voice is weak, unconvincing, and 
refuses to do the bidding of the owner of it ; the real truth is, that behind 
the voice there is but little prompting of passion or deep feeling. What 

324 THE TPIEA TRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

Mrs. Maddick did at the first performance at Brighton, and subsequently 
in London, was wonderful enough for a novice ; but it was not the kind of 
convincing acting that would at present recommend itself to the general 
public. I am bold enough to think that Mrs. Maddick, in her natural 
ambition to succeed as a star, has mistaken the line of character in which 
she would show to the greatest advantage. Comedy is evidently her forte, 
and not strong sentiment. She can coquette, but she cannot convince! 
She would play, for instance, Lady Betty Noel far better than Lady Clan- 
carty. She would enact Helen infinitely better than Julia. The mistake 
of inexperience can be rectified, but inexperience itself cannot award the 
sensibility that gives music to the voice and intelligence to every expres- 
sion. In these days, when there is no provincial school and few oppor- 
tunities for any actress to learn her business anywhere, we must not be too 
hard on the ambition of debutantes. But they must remember that the 
public knows more about good acting than it ever gets the credit for, and 
at present they will only have the best for their money. 

The plays in which Mrs. Maddick has been engaged have, however, been 
extremely interesting in that they have drawn attention to the sudden and 
determined influence upon the art-loving public of Mr. E. S. Willard as. 
an actor of rare skill and expression. We have to go back to the early 
days of Mr. Henry Irving to recall an artist who in character parts has 
shown such a sensitive appreciation of character, or has presented us with 
such a rare delicacy of treatment as Mr. E. S. Willard in the character of 
King William in " Clancarty." It is quite true that the part has been well 
played before, it lends itself readily to effect by means of the contrast to 
other characters in the play, and by the quick changes from melancholy to 
humour and from humour to subdued pathos. But it has never before 
been so acted as to startle an audience by its significance. Mr. Willard 
shows, what Mr. Irving has so often shown, a skill in conveying the working 
of the mind on the actor's face. It is not merely what is commonly called 
character acting, but the actor for the moment becomes the character he 
personates. No one but an artist out of the common run of artists could 
convey so clearly and so accurately those waves of expression on the 
human face. In this King William we see the abiding sadness, the 
melancholy induced by an irreparable loss, but ever and anon the sorrow- 
stained face breaks into curious smiles or is illumined by old records of a 
pronounced but subtle humour. The face indeed of the actor is a study 
from first to last ; he conveys as much when he is silent as when he is 
sharing in the dialogue, and from such a performance as this the impres- 
sion appears to be growing that Mr. E. S. Willard is not merely a skilful 
interpreter of melodramatic villains, but a very remarkable actor of rare 
finish and high intelligence. As yet, so far as London is concerned, he 
has done nothing more than to begin by degrees, and by doing so to work 
himself gradually and persistently to the front. His talent has never yet 
been severely taxed, and no one can possibly tell how far he may succeed or 
how far he may fail. Over and over again the actor's coolness and aplomb 
have been recognized : he has recently shown a command over the 

MAYi,i88 3 .] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 325 

pathetic stop. He has begun modestly, and, being an artist, is not likely 
to hurry the test that must come sooner or later. But I venture to think 
that if Mr. Willard were to venture on such a character as Louis the 
Eleventh, for instance, there would be some excitement to see the result. 

An amateur dramatic entertainment was given by the officers of the 
Second East York Artillery Volunteers, at the Public Rooms, Hull, on 
March 28. The pieces selected for representation were the comedy- 
drama " Alone," by Messrs. J. Palgrave Simpson and Herman C. Merivale, 
and Buckstone's well-known farce, " The Rough Diamond." Both were 
capitally rendered, and the entertainment passed off most successfully. In 
the first-named piece the part of Colonel Challis was admirably given by 
Mr. M. Grant-Dalton ; Mr. Bernard Barton performed capitally as Stratton 
Strawless, Mr. B. S. Jacobs was well suited in the part of Dr. Micklethwaite, 
and Mr. G. W. Pyburn was passable as Captain Cameron. Mrs. W. H. 
Wellsted (Miss Elise Maizey) played most effectively as Maude Trevor, 
and Miss Dibb represented Mrs. Thornton with an ease and grace which 
were most charming. In the " Rough Diamond" the character of Margery 
could scarcely have been in better hands than those of Mrs. Wellsted, 
who kept the audience in continued merriment by her performance. She 
was ably assisted in her effort in this direction by Mr. W. H. Wellsted as 
Cousin Joe, his make-up and acting of the character being perfect. Lieut- 
Colonel Pudsey may also be complimented on his rendering of Sir William 
Evergreen, and Mr. J. Allan-Jackson made a very excellent Lord Plato, 
while Mr. J. G. Smithson was tolerably successful as Captain Blenheim, 
and to Mrs. Pudsey was entrusted the rendering of Lady Plato. 

Mr. Percy F. Marshall recently gave a performance at the Ladbroke 
Hall to a well-filled and enthusiastic audience, when t( Meg's Diversion" 
was played, the occasion being Mr. Marshall's last appearance as an 
amateur. His conception of Ashley Merton was good ; the action was 
not strained, and Mr. Marshall's elocutionary powers were used to some 
effect, but he lacked energy. Another fault lies in his failing to tho- 
roughly imbue himself in his character. The support given to Mr. 
Marshall was fair. Mr. Conyers Norton was well suited as the Farmer. 
Mr. Henry A. Stacke was a rather forced Jasper, Mr. T. E. Forster an 
excellent Roland, and Mr. F. Upton an exaggerated and absurd Eytem. 
Miss Eleanor Rothsay played Meg charmingly, Miss Kate Erlam made 
a spirited Cornelia, and Mrs. Lennox-Brown a humorous Mrs. Netwell. 
After the performance of Mr. Craven's drama, Mr. Marshall delivered a 
farewell address, and being recalled, asked the audience " to kindly remain 
for the last piece, ' Uncle's Will/ as this was considered by many of his 
friends to be his best effort." He was undoubtedly good in this, and 
played in a cool yet jovial style without being boisterous. Mr. S. P. Platt 
as Mr. Barker, and Mrs. T. C. Collett as Florence Marigold, lent good 
aid. " In the Gloaming" was the opening item, Miss Mary Brown 
deserving mention for her vivacious rendering of Florence Asher. 

326 THE THEATRE. [MAY r, 1883. 

On April 5, the Owl Dramatic Society gave a performance at St. George's 
Hall in aid of the funds of the London Fever Hospital. In " Auld 
Acquaintance," Mr. F. Crawford played fairly well as John Manley, Mr- 
W. M. Colling was quietly humorous as Butts, Mr. A. H. Davenport a 
good doctor, and Mr. Frank Hole was made awkward and out of place as 
Barty. Miss Emily Miller played with great spirit and freshness as Julia, 
and Miss Louisa Peach made a natural Amy. " The Wedding March" 
was fairly well given, and the amusing situations brought out with precision 
and appreciation, but the last act dragged considerably, and the waits 
were tiresome. Mr. S. J. Barrett, as Mr. Woodpecker Tapping, was full 
of life, and his acting was very effective. Mr. Frank Hole, well made-up 
as Uncle Bopaddy, proved himself capable and was very amusing, whilst 
Mr. A. W. Hughes was an energetic Poppytop. The Duke of Turniptop- 
shire was capitally rendered by Mr. Arthur Hanson. Mr. H. Belding was 
a capable Major. Mr. Ralph Vincent was good in the small part of 
Foodie. Amongst the ladies, Miss Helen Palgrave, as the Marchioness, 
showed a keen appreciation of the satire and wit of the piece, and her by- 
play was particularly good. Miss Rose Bouverie lacked animation as Miss 
Bunthunder, Miss M. Ward was too slow as Sophy, and Anna was made 
the most of by Miss Louisa Peach. 

On the evenings of April 5, 6, 9, 10, n and 12 theatrical performances 
were given on board H.M.S. Rainbow, lying off Waterloo Bridge, by 
members of the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers' musical and dramatic 
club. The proceedings may be regarded as successful in every way. The 
stage and auditorium were placed between decks, and were lighted by 
means of the Swan electric lamps. The work of lighting was carried out 
by Messrs. Laing, White and Wharton, the necessary electric current 
being supplied from patent batteries provided by the Duplex Company. 
The lights burnt steadily and with great brilliancy. The programme on 
each evening consisted of " Meg's Diversion" and a new musical farce in 
two acts, written by Mr. Charles F. Fuller and composed by Mr. Campbell 
Williams, entitled " The Fifteenth Century." In Mr. Craven's drama the best 
performance was the Jeremy Crow of Mr. Windham Cutter. Meg was 
played with success by Miss Florence Worth, who should suppress a 
tendency to being over-serious. The new musical piece is well written, 
and some of the music is bright and pleasing. The idea is this : A 
gentleman is musical-mad, and he has, moreover, a craze to live in an old- 
time castle. So his son and his daughter's sweetheart take him to a 
dilapidated castle and soon cure him of his craze. The principal part was 
acted with consistency by the author, Mr. Charles F. Fuller, a clever bit 
of acting was given by Mr. Campbell Williams, and Mr. H. Dicker was 
funny as the page. Miss Rose Roberts was effective as a dissatisfied 
servant, and Miss Lily Meredith was pleasing as the daugl.ter. 

A constant correspondent writes : Thinking it may be interesting to 
the readers of THE THEATRE, who have perused Mr. Dutton Cook's 
Article on Joe Miller in the March number of the Magazine, to read the 

MAY i, 1883.] OUR OMNIBUS BOX. 327 

epitaph on his gravestone (for which I am indebted to Mr. George Willis's 
" Current Notes," or " Price Current of Literature," published nearly 
thirty years ago), I give it, together with the following remarks pre- 
ceding it : 

"Joe Miller's Jest-Book. Josiah Miller, the Listen, or Compton of his 
day, according to the obituaries of the time, died in August, 1738, and 
was interred in the burial-ground of St. Clement Danes, in Portugal Street, 
at the west end, near the watch-house, in front of the door of which, 
occupying the place of the now-kerbstone, formerly stood the parish stocks 
and whipping-post. 

" Yesterday,, on passing the gates, I strolled in ; the gravestones are all 
moved, and building materials for the new hospital now obtrude irre- 
verently over the graves. 

" These chronicles of death's doings in bygone days the gravestones 
are, I learn, to be used and worked up in the progressive erection, so that 
the inscriptions in memory of the dead will soon be, if they are not so 
already, immediately lost. 

" Joe Miller's stone I found flat on the earth, at the east end, near the 
present hospital, the face upwards, with a great beam lying across it. 
Evidently some curiosity has been excited about the stone, but its present 
position seems to be the harbinger of its fate ; its destruction may be thus 

"With some difficulty, the inscription being much defaced by the operation 
of the weather, I transcribed the following : 








He departed this Life the \$th day of August, 1738, 
Aged 54 years. 

If humour, wit, and honesty could save 
The humorous, witty, honest, from the grave, 
The grave had not so soon this tenant found, 
Whom honesty, and wit, and humour crovvn'd ; 
Could but esteem and love preserve our breath, 
And guard us longer from the stroke of Death, 
The stroke of Death on him had later fell, 
Whom all mankind esteem'd and lov'd so well. 

From respect to social worth, 
mirthful qualities, and histrionic excellence, 
commemorated by poetic talent in humble life ; 
J the above inscription, which Time 

had nearly obliterated, has been preserved 

and transferred to this Stone by order of 

Mr. Jarvis Buck, Churchwarden A.D. 1816." 

328 THE THEATRE. [MAY i, 1883. 

The jests ascribed to Joe Miller, derived, however, from a variety of 
sources, were the compilation of John Mottley, a literary drudge of that 
day. The first edition,, " price one shilling," was published in December, 
1738, but the title is not dated. The rarity of this dateless edition has 
greatly enhanced its price. At the Bindley sale, Part II. No. 974, Messrs. 
Longmans purchased his copy for eleven pounds five shillings. 

One is sorry to see the gravestones of such men as Joe Miller is de- 
cribed in his epitaph destroyed, but with such a true and faithful record of 
his sayings and doings as given to us by Mr. Button Cook he will not be 
altogether forgotten. 

Atque iterum Worcester. Miss O'Neill, whilst on a visit there, received 
from Elliston's successor at the Theatre Royal an offer for an appearance, 
over the terms of which offer the " star" took time to ponder. Meantime, 
her host, an enthusiastic admirer of the beauties of his native place, walked 
his guest to the top of Rainbow Hill under promise of showing her the 
finest scenery in England. During the ascent, he repeatedly entreated her 
not to turn till he gave the word, being anxious that she should not, by 
premature enjoyment, lose the full delight of the prospect from the proper 
point of view. Now, whether "The O'Nale" ever sat to Thackeray for his 
Miss Fotheringay or not, it is not unknown that solid " poy" was apt to 
have greater attractions for her than " pomes," however beautiful, and that 
the prospect she could best appreciate was that of an increased balance at 
her bankers. Hence, when, arrived at the summit, with the vaunted 
panorama all spread before them, her escort, anticipative of her raptures, 
turned her about with an exulting : " Now, Madam ! What do you think 
of it?" hence the most practical of Juliets quietly annihilated him by 
saying : " Think of it ? Well, I think you had better tell your friend the 
manager that I really can't come for less than the ;ioo." 

Alfred Bunn, Musarum deliria, Gentleman -at- Arms and Lessee of Drury 
Lane, gives another and a stronger instance of " the ruling passion," in the 
case of his intimate abomination, W. C. Macready, and in the shape of a 
story which the ingenious Alfred fathers upon Elliston. Macready was 
sick as it was feared, sick unto death. Elliston called to see him, and 
was admitted to the sick chamber. There lay Macready, prostrate, ex- 
hausted, just able to utter his belief that his last hour had come. Elliston 
did his best to cheer him ; and, by-and-by, when the moribund had 
apparently sunk into a doze, glided on tiptoe out of the apartment. He 
had scarcely reached the bottom of the staircase when he was recalled by 
an intimation that Mr. Macready wished to speak to him. Naturally 
expecting that some posthumous service was about to be required at his 
hands, Elliston bent over the dying man's pillow. And then, in broken, 
feeble accents, Macready said : " Ell-is-ton, do-you-thi-nk that * Rob 
Roy' re-du-ced to-twoacts would be a good after-piece for my 
benefit ?" 


June, 1888. 

The Autobiography of an Actor. 

MY ancestors, time out of mind, cherished a passion for the 
aesthetic, and I should be a traitor to a noble descent if I 
diverged from the graceful path first outlined and trodden by the 
founder of the family, and respectfully followed by several generations 
of successors. If the reader, who has a strong taste for theatricals, 
will consult the file of playbills carefully treasured by Mr. Peter 
Potter, the worthy landlord of the " Weasel and Gridiron" in Ilfra- 
combe, Devonshire, he will find among the troupe who honoured 
the western circuit, when strollers found favour in each town and 
populous village, the name of Silverton Singleton, the jeune 
premier and general utility man. That was my nom de theatre, 
adopted as a concession to an unjustifiable family pride and pre- 
judice. My real name is Adolphus Muggins that single 
appellation being a corruption of " Mougainville," the original 
family name. The Mougainvilles were Norman knights who had 
followed the fortunes of William, surnamed the Conqueror, cutting 
throats at Hastings to secure the succession of their chief, and 
subsequently cutting a few more to maintain the landed property 
they had earned by their valour. The Mougainvilles stuck to 
King John and his immediate successors, but when the White 
and the Red Rose fell out, the family declared for the Lancas- 
trians, and, like them, were upset by the Yorkists. Their lands 
being sequestrated by the victorious party, they dropped the 
proud affix "ville," and became simply the Mougains, which 
euphonious name, in the progress of years and vulgar associations, 
underwent corruption to Moregains (a misnomer at best, for they 
gained no more land), thence to Morgan, Muggan, and so down 

330 THE THEATRE. [JUNE i, 1883. 

to Muggins. Lives of great men, the poet says, all remind us 
" we may make our lives sublime." By parity of reasoning, the 
lives of little men, if published, may only make their fellow- 
creatures ridiculous, and as I owe mankind no grudge for I have 
been well treated on the whole I do not feel disposed to go into 
an elaborate autobiography. I could not I would not tell all 
the truth and if the story is not unreservedly told it is better 
left alone. 

Well, if I do not believe that a full memoir is worth the 
trouble of writing, or reading when written, it is at least possible 
that some of the incidents of my early youth may afford enter- 

As an old Irish song goes, " At sixteen years old you could 
get little good of me." There were anxious family debates as to 
the choice of a profession for young hopeful. My stepfather 
suggested the law. His telescopic eye saw the Lord Chancellor's 
wig adorning my brow in maturity, and therefore he would cheer- 
fully bear all the expense of a previous course of Blackstone, 
Coke upon Littleton, and the statutes at large en route to the 
dignity. My excellent mother, tant soit pen pieuse, was 
convinced that if I went into the Church, I should be sure to 
obtain the reversion of the Archbishop of Canterbury's mitre. 
She beheld it in prospect and in her dreams. An uncle, by his 
marriage with one of my mother's sisters, proposed the army. 
As he had lost an arm at Maida and a leg at Vimeira, he had a 
right to request the Commander-in- Chief to give me a commis- 
sion, and he thought it a pity that such a fine specimen of 
sprouting manhood as his nephew 'should be thrown away on 
what they called the liberal professions, when he would fill a pit 
so becomingly. But neither the mitre nor the lawyer's gown had 
any attractions for me. I hated study. " My" only books were 
women's looks. I might have grasped a sword and trod the path 
chalked out by Wellington for aspiring youth, but war was played 
out in Europe, and fno commissions were available,. Clerkships 
of any kind were my horror. So I at once selected the stage 
for a profession. 

Now my friends disagreed with me as to my fitness for "strut- 
ting and fretting" until I had proved a certain degree of capa- 
bility by a few amateur displays. The opportunity was not 
wanting, for amateur acting was then~much in vogue, even in the 


highest circles of society. There was a "wealthy fool with gold 
in store" named Coates. He drove a curricle, shaped like a 
nautilus shell, of a " rose pink" colour, with a bright chanticleer, 
proclaiming the morn, as a crest There were silver roosters all 
over the harness, and the motto of this eccentric gentleman was, 
" While I live I'll crow/' He believed he could play Romeo, and 
actually paid the manager of the Haymarket Theatre to let him 
appear. The gold tempted the lessee, and Coates came out in a 
gorgeous costume, and a hat and feathers looped up with real 
diamonds of great value. Nature had not been kind to Mr. 
Coates. When she was engaged in the manufacture of a homely 
race she selected Mr. Coates's face " as a sample for all the rest." 
His acting was extravagance run into madness. He out-H eroded 
Herod, except in the tender passages, and then he was as maudlin 
as a lovesick schoolgirl. But his dying scene was gravely 
original. He had the rattles in his throat ; he moaned, he 
groaned, he writhed and wriggled like a worm in the last agonies 
of dissolution ; and finally, with a convulsive start, he stretched 
himself on his back and expired. The audience screamed with 
delight, and laughed till their sides ached. " Bravo, Coates !" 
" Try it again, old fellow !" " Encore the death scene encore, 
encore /" And in the plenitude of his vanity, at so unequivocal 
a proof of his genius, he rose and repeated the throes, the 
grimaces, and the final kick. The house redoubled its cheers ; 
there never was such a racket ; no other actor could be heard ; 
the play was not permitted to proceed until " Romeo Coates" rose 
a third time, and making a low bow, positively died a third time, 
to the chorus of " cock-a-doodle-doo" from every part of the 

Another famous amateur of the time was Colonel Berkeley, 
afterwards Earl Fitzhardinge. He lived at Cheltenham, and 
patronized theatricals. The sad story of his infatuation for the 
lovely Maria Foote and its results have been told before. 

These affairs proved that whatever the drama might be, ama- 
teur affairs were either demoralizing or absurd. I resolved, there- 
fore, after a few experiences, to abandon the pastime at once, and 
go in for the stage as a matter of business. Accordingly, having 
had the honour of being presented to that perfect gentleman and 
superb actor, Mr. John Kemble, who had complimented me on my 
performance (en amateur) of Laertes to the Hamlet of Lord 

Z 2 

332 THE THEATRE. [JUNE i, 1883. 

Somebody, at the house of a lady of distinction, who afterwards 
became Mrs. Coutts and then Duchess of St. Albans, I called on 
him (Kemble) to solicit his advice as to the best means of be- 
coming a good histrion. Serious in manner, John Kemble was 
nevertheless kind and cheerful. All the profession respected him, 
for he was courteous to the humblest super. " I thank you, 
gentlemen," he would say to a few poor men who had been re- 
hearsing conspirators, senators, &c. &c., for four hours. He gave 
me some excellent hints, but did not advise my adopting the 
stage professionally. It w r as laborious, precarious, and held in 
disrespect. Actors were " vagabonds" by Act of Parliament- 
They amused the world, but the world treated them with scorn. 
Nevertheless I was still bent on being an actor. There was one 
theatrical agent only in London in 1 8 1 8. His name was Sims. 
He had a small office in Great Russell Street, Drury Lane. He 
sat in his parlour like an old spider, prompt to catch Thespic flies. 
Around the room, forming the cobweb which enmeshed the giddy, 
hung files of play bills from the few country-places which had 
theatres. Bath, York, Cork, and Dublin were the most con- 
spicuous, but there were smaller localites whose larger pretensions 
were marked by bolder type and longer announcements. Having 
registered myself as " Sylvester Silverton," and paid the requisite 
fee of five shillings, I was bidden to take my choice. I selected 
Biggleston Swopsey, in a western county, because a " juvenile" was 
wanted. The salary was not of lavishing proportions, but Mr. 
.Sims assured me that there was fine scope for "business," and if 
I made a name in the town I might get a good benefit. He did 
riot think the common wardrobe would prove very extensive, and 
as there were no " costoomers" (costumiers) in the town (B. S.) I 
had better take a few dresses with me the more showy the 
better and procure some tights, or shapes. I forthwith pro- 
ceeded to equip myself at an old masquerade warehouse where 
"fleshings" and " shapes" were obtainable; but as they were all 
" a world too wide" for my slender shanks, I had to be measured 
for a pair. The tailor was disgustingly impolite coarse and 
vulgar in the extreme. When I referred to the tenuity of my 
limbs, saying they were " rather thin," " Not rather," quoth Snip, 
"but very thin. Your calves are regularly gone to grass." I 
certainly was a scarecrow. Falstaff's description of Shallow as 
a youth applied to me exactly. I was " like a forked raddish." 


My dimensions " to any thick sight " were nearly invisible. But 
the Sartor need not have been so discourteous to a customer. 
Mr. Bluffins, the manager of the Bigglestone Swopsey Temple of 
the Muses, Thalia and Melpomene (he called the latter lady Moll 
Pomona), was a very short man, with a face red enough to frighten 
and enrage a bull, and he had a sinister cast in one eye. He 
received me very bluntly. " Oh, you be come at last ! Muster Sims 
he wrote as you was on the way." This, in hard Wiltshire dialect. 
I explained that I was delayed in getting my shapes. " Shapes 
be blowed !" exclaimed Bluffins, " you could have had the last 
man's. He were a thought bigger than you, but my missus would 
have took them in to fit your leg." He then sent me away to get 
a lodging and return to him at once. " Sharp's the word and 
quick's the motion," said he. I was soon suited with a bedroom 
over a baker's shop at four shillings a week, washing one shirt 
included. I went back to the theatre a small edifice which had 
once done duty as a Methodist chapel (from a sermon to a song !) 
that had got into difficulties. " Now,'' quoth Bluffins, on my re- 
appearance, " are you up in Roderigo ? We play " Othello" to- 
morrow, and Mr. W T andenhoff be coming for six nights. He is the 
Liverpool great gun." I said I knew the play but not the words of 
Roderigo. " Well, you can wing it, you know." " Wing it ? As 
how ?" " Why read the part behind the scenes before you go on, 
and then tip them the dilog. We rehearse to-morrow at ten. 
I've got a new Desdemony, and old Walpole is a slap-up lago." 
I was going, when he called me back. " Look here : your sal. 
(salary) will be ten bob a-week if you do well enough, but when 
biz. is bad we share. ; ' "Any benefit ?" Oh, yes, you stand the 
expenses and takes what's left." After a walk through the little 
town, I called at a clean public-house, had a mutton-chop and a 
cup of tea, and went to my lodging to study Roderigo by the 
light of a tallow-candle. The next morning at ten I was at the 
theatre, and Mr. Vandenhoff, who had come by the night coach, 
was on the stage. We were all formally introduced to him, 
Roderigo as the " ' young un' who had just joined and was a-going 
to make his deboo" As there was not too much room to spare 
behind the scenes, those of the company who were not required 
in certain scenes sat in the pit. The rehearsals occupied some 
hours and were carefully gone through. VandenhofT was an 
actor of the John Kemble school. A good elocutionist, but cold 

334 THE THEATRE. [JUNE i, 1883. 

and sententious. In a toga or a long cloak he could fairly 
represent the accepted idea of a Roman consul or a heavy father, 
but when it was his lot to portray the more passionate and 
emotional characters, you saw at once that he either had no feeling 
for the role, or deemed the display of rage, love, madness or heroism 
beneath the dignity of so grave a personage. The words came 
from his lips because they were dictated by his head his 
memory but nothing sprang from his heart. Thus his Othello 
was grandly dictatorial, and it seemed a matter of surprise that 
an lago should attempt to disturb so adamantine a Moor. His 
long speeches were lofty ; his short ones mere morals' 4 words." 
However, he was a gentleman in his bearing and took considerable 
pains to drill the Bluffin's lot. We played " Macbeth," " Cato," 
" Hamlet," and " Othello," and I at least learnt that the taste of 
the day was in favour of a measured elocution. After Vanden- 
hoff we had Mr. William H. Betty, erst " the young Roscius." 
In his boyhood he had won fame and money by his repre- 
sentation of the heroes of sundry tragedies. His youth and 
personal beauty, and the intelligent manner in which he recited, 
following an anxious mother's instructions, caused him to be 
much patronized. As he advanced in life, however, he realized 
the ordinarily fatal results of precocity. His style and his face 
became heavy, and his speech lacked music ; he had neither 
genius, nor inspiration. The title " Roscius" was altogether mis- 
applied, for he had none of the reputed qualities of the famous 
Roman actor left. I played Alonzo to his Zango, but imbibed 
no professional sympathy. 

Just before Betty had run through his repertory we were startled 
with the intimation that Mr.Bluffins had engaged the Exeter Theatre, 
and that we were to tramp thither to perform with the great Edmund 
Kean, then the mighty star of the hour. I was frantic with joy. I had 
frequently seen him play in London, but the idea of treading the 
boards with him was an honour that " stood not within the pro- 
spect of belief." As soon as the ci-devant Roscius was gone, Mr. 
Walpole, who had played Macduff, lago, &c., as second to the two 
dim stars, resumed his position as leader of the stock company. 
The old gentleman had been so much accustomed to being shelved 
when any celebrities came down into our part of the country, that 
he had lost much of the professional pride which hangs about 
" crushed tragedians ;" still, in spite of poverty and the approach of 


the " last scene of all" for he was beyond three-score-and-ten 
he adored his art, and took great pains to render justice to the 
poetry of the drama. Kind and modest, he helped me much in 
my reading of parts, which of course was crude and erroneous, and 
when he stepped back to his old place he raised me to the second 
rank, and cast me for the characters he had recently vacated. This 
excited the jealousy of Mr. Percival Monckton (whose real name 
was Barnaby Timkins, a tailor by profession), and he did not 
hesitate to give utterance to his feelings in the presence of the other 
actors. " That's just like old Snivel and Drip" (the opprobrious 
term he applied to Walpole) ; <f he takes up with that skin-and-bone 
Silverton, because the feller's got money and finds beer for old 
blood." This was an outrageous scandal, for the leading tragedian 
was quite above drinking at my expense, excepting, of course, 
when I invited him to a frugal supper after an arduous night's 

There were always a five-act play and two- act farce, and we all 
played in both. Monckton had been heard to say that he would do 
for me the first time we had to fight, and sure enough, when he was 
cast for the fiery Tybalt, and I made my coup d'essai as Romeo, he 
" the prince of cats," as Mercutio calls Tybalt " the very butcher of 
a silk button, a duellist, a duellist" made a tremendous onslaught 
on my person. Happily, however, I had not forgotten the training 
in Ves crime at the French military school. I was cunning of 
fence and could come the " immortal passado ! the punto reverse!" 
as well as any youth of my years. So when I found that 
Monckton was intent on doing me bodily harm I joined issue with 
him right heartily, and had the misfortune to poke out his left 
eye. It was purely accidental. I had feigned a thrust at his 
shoulder, but he knocked up my rapier with his " parry," and the 
weapon scratched his cheek, and being stopped at the cheekbone 
for a moment, glanced up and struck the optic. As he fell, ac- 
cording to the business of the scene, he anathematized me in loud 
tones. " Sarved him right !" cried Bluffins, who had been standing 
at the wing. Monckton was carried off, and a surgeon was at once 
summoned to the theatre. He pronounced the eyesight utterly 
destroyed. I really felt much chagrined at the event and cheer- 
fully paid the doctor's fee ; but Monckton (Timkins) was unable 
to continue in the theatrical line, and returned to the family mansion 
in Great Torrington, a wiser if not a better tailor. 

336 THE THEATRE. [JUNE 1,1883. 

On the morning following the disaster I was in my room studying: 
Rolando (" Honeymoon") for Walpole's benefit. There came a 
tap at the door, " some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber 
door." I rose and let in a tall, cadaverous man, with draggled 
beard. "Mister," said my visitor, " I guessed I'd come soon, as I 
mean business/' "With me, sir?" "Well, yes, look here. I 
saw you last night at the theatre. I had a mind to make 
Monckton an offer, but now he's disfigured and sick, and as you 
seem to act tolerably, I've come to give you a chance." " You 
are very kind ; in what way ?" " I'm coming to that. You sec,, 
I'm manager of a theatre, and want to strengthen my company. 
They tell me you draw ten shillings a week. I'll give you fifteen." 
" May I ask \\here your theatre is situated ?" " Well, nowhere 
particular. I've a liking for locomotion, and so go about 
from place to place. People soon get tired of the same thing." 
" You've a portable theatre, then ?" " Yes ; it's the biggest 
thing of the sort anywhere ! Next week we shall be at Ilfra- 
combe. There's a fair there, and my traps are gone with the 
company to be fixed up." " What do you play there ?" " Why, 
'most everything tragedy, pantomime, all kinds of dramas. 
We open with a strong tragedy that's had a great run over the 
water." "Is it one of Shakespeare's?" "Well, that may be 
his name ; but I've given it a highfalutin title that takes at a 
fair 'The Murderous Magician of Missouri and the Demon's 
Dungeon of Dacota.' I've all the scenes ready and my ! won't 
you get ' rounds' when you fling Greycat over the Horseshoe Falls,. 
after a fight with two pirates and three niggers ?" But I did not feel 
inclined to become a member of a showman's booth, even at the 
tempting advance of five shillings, and the privilege of dancing 
on a platform. I therefore civilly declined the offer, on the 
ground that I could not fairly leave Manager Bluffins, as I had 
deprived him of the services of one of the company by poking 
out his eye. 

It was now time for the Bluffin's lot to move to Exeter, for, as. 
I have said, the great Edmund Kean was coming down to play for 
a few nights at the scene of his early exploits. Kean opened in 
Shylock. It was the part in which he made his first appear- 
ance in London, and the one which attracted the attention of 
Sheridan, or a friend of Sheridan's, when he played it at Exeter. 
I believe Kean had never visited the scene of his earlier achieve- 


merits until that time, and now his old friends and admirers crowded 
to give him a welcome. I was cast for Salanio and Gratiano, for 
the paucity of actors, in one particular line, in our company, 
rendered doubling parts unavoidable. This took me on to the 
stage in some of the scenes in which Shylock appears, and gave me 
an opportunity of noticing Kean's reading of certain passages. The 
first that attracted my attention was in the address to Antonio, in 
the third scene of the first act. I stood at the wing and listened. 
The speech, as generally delivered, runs thus : 

" Signer Antonio, many a time and oft, on the Rialto, 
Yon have rated me about my monies and my usances." 

The phrase " many a time and oft" is clearly tautological, but as it 
occurs in more than one of Shakespeare's plays, it passes as a 
redundancy of verbiage common to the time. Kean, however, 
made a point of emphasizing the reproach, and gave it 
thus : 

" Many a time and oft on the Rialto /" 

manifesting thereby a sense of greater wrong than would have 
been inflicted elsewhere. The sting of the " rating" lay in the 
locality. The Rialto was the great mart or Exchange " where 
merchants most did congregate/'' and therefore the Jew felt the 
degradation the more severely. Another phrase which Kean 
enunciated with prodigious force, was : 

" You called me misbeliever, cut-throat dog." 

In almost all the editions of Shakespeare the two last words are 
connected " cut-throat" becoming an adjective of the noun 
" dog." Now, Kean maintained that dogs did not cut throats, 
and showed that, in later passages, the most offensive epithet 
applied to Shylock was " dog/' pur ct simple. Accordingly, he 
rendered the lines thus : 

" You called me misbeliever, cut-throat dog ! 
And spat upon my Jewish gaberdine." 

And his emphatic utterance of the final \vord of the first line, 
accompanied by a peculiarly savage look, found a response in 
the hearts of the audience, for they applauded vociferously. 
There have been many Shylocks on the English stage, and 
they have varied essentially in their representations. Macklin, 
whose interpretation was so acceptable to London audiences 

338 THE THE A TRE. [JUNE i, 1883. 

that the portraits of the old man were accompanied by the 

"This is the Jew 
That Shakespeare drew." 

is said to have imparted a certain dignity to the character which 
removed it from the herd of low, malignant " dogs" usually pre- 
sented on the stage. Macklin's stature, perhaps, supported the 
idea that Shylock was grand because he had faith in the integrity 
of his cause and the strict laws of Venice. Kean had no dignity 
of manner or appearance. He was very short. All the fiercer 
passions of human nature found expression in his dark eye, 
curling lip, harsh voice, earnest manner ; but he could be tender 
and pathetic, amatory and serious, as occasion served or the part 
demanded. "Richard III." followed the "Merchant of Venice," 
and I was selected for Richmond because I could fence. Kean 
was a wonderful swordsman, and, when excited by drink, was a 
fearful, reckless antagonist. At the rehearsal he told me frankly 
that I had better be on my guard, for that he was sometimes a 
perfect devil in Bosworth Field. At night I saw that, if the fight 
were prolonged to give it the air of a very dreadful struggle for 
life, I should come off second best ; so, rather against Kean's 
will, I seized the earliest opportunity of killing him in view of 
the audience. However, he took it all in good part, and invited 
me to sup with him. Three others of the company were likewise 
his guests, and we were very merry. Kean drank an amazing 
quantity of hot gin-and-water, but it did not seem to produce a 
very powerful effect upon him until long after midnight. He 
gave us many details of his provincial life, and recalled, with 
evident sorrow, the companions of his early struggles, some of 
whom had passed away. He had provided for others at London 
theatres. As he was not going to play Macbeth, I asked him 
how he delivered the lines : 

" Hang out our banners, &c. &c." 

Mr. Kemble used to say : 

" Hang out our banners on the outward walls ; 
The cry is still 'they come.' " 

But Kean contended that the outer walls, being lower than those 
of the castle itself, the banners would not have been seen dis- 
tinctly from a distance ; while the reference to " the cry" denoted 
that the outward walls were the proper locality whence to view 


the approaching force. After Kean's departure for other towns, 
the performances at Exeter hung fire, until we had a visit from 
Charles Young, the legitimate successor of John Kemble at 
Covent Garden. He was a very amiable man, a scholar, gifted 
with a fine figure and a noble face. His conceptions of the 
great tragic characters which devolved upon him were usually 
just, and the only circumstance which detracted from his 
excellence as an actor was a lisp, of which he was strangely 
unconscious. When Mathews the elder gave imitations of 
all the most popular actors then on the stage, Charles Young 
said to him, " I went to thee you latht night at the Lytheum ; 
your imitationth were very good, but why did you make me 
thpeak with a lithp ?" Young played Hamlet, which I thought 
very fine, because it was modelled after Kemble's impersonation, 
but neither of these performers seemed to me to realize the ideal 
Hamlet. Our performances, when Young left us, came to a sudden 
stop, for George III., after being confined in Windsor Castle as 
a lunatic for upwards of a dozen years, " shuffled off this mortal 
coil," and was gathered to his ancestors. The public mourning 
was, of course, merely nominal, since no one could really regret 
an event which removed the good old man from the mental dark- 
ness in which he had lived for so long a time. Still, the formality 
of public grief had to be gone through, and this involved the 
suspension of all public entertainments for a given time. Passion 
Week and certain holy festivals are periods of such rigid fastings 
and mortifications to poor actors, that it did not need the addi- 
tion of a royal demise to leave them without bread for a few 
more days. Mr. Blufifins paid us all up, and then announced his 
intention of movinginto Somersetshire and opening at Bath. Bath, 
once the most famous watering-place of the aristocracy, who 
swarmed in the winter to drink the bitter waters, whose virtues 
were supposed to remove the evils acquired by the flesh in a 
course of dissipation, had altogether changed its social character. 
Staid personages of the middle classes, who enjoyed a comfort- 
able independence, now usurped the places once tenanted by 
lords and ladies. There were many men of high literary culture 
among them, and to those persons a play of Shakespeare's, 
rendered with tolerable care, was always acceptable. Cut down 
Shakespeare as you will, to the miserable tenuity of an " acting 
edition," there is still vitality enough left to gratify even a 

340 THE THEATRE. [JUNE i, 1883. 

voracious appetite and exhibit the unapproachable genius of the 

The Bath Theatre had for years been one of the principal 
nurseries of the London stage. Actors and actresses, reared 
among a sufficiently fastidious community, were sure of a transfer 
to the metropolis. I therefore quitted the strolling company, and 
sought an appearance at the Bath Theatre, where there was really 
no chance for the reception of Bluffins's modest troupe. They 
went off to Clifton and Bristol, while I remained to pay court to 
manager Dimond. After two or three weeks of suspense, I 
obtained leave to appear as Orlando in " As You Like It." The 
Rosalind of the play was a lady-like, intelligent person named 
Jarman. She was afterwards a London star, but she committed 
the mistake of marrying a vagabond called Ternan, who drank up 
her earnings. 

Having had quite enough of country acting, and seeing but 
little prospect of a summons to London in a professional way, I 
now determined to relinquish the stage for a time and return home. 
It was not without some degree of regret that I parted with 
Bluffins. At our last interview the good fellow said in his^homely 
way, " I tell 'ee what ; thee tak'st pains and are quick study, but 
you want ' face' for a tragic actor. Go in for eccentrics and you'll 
do." But the voice of the charmer was unheeded. 

During the Strike. 

A Fragment, after Coppee. 

I FAMISHED, lean, stood in my emptied hut : 
j My wife and children stretched their hands for bread, 
All but the youngest, a poor fragile girl, 
Who lay upon the sacking yonder dead ! 
Her sharpened features showed the death she'd died, 
And, as her brothers' cries reached my dulled ear, 
I, maddened, broke from weak, detaining hands, 
And rushed out to the streets ; I knew not where ! 
No children's shouts were heard. In listless groups 
Of twos and threes they stood ; some talking low 

JUNE i, i88 3 .] DURING THE STRIKE. 341 

Of those among their playmates who had died, 
And how they envied them ! Each word, a blow 
Struck to my heart. My little daughter's corse 
Upbraiding rose before my bloodshot gaze : 

I was her murderer Great God ! 'twas I, 

Tool of the Strike ! for nigh on forty days 

Perforce I had been idle ; made to rest 

And yield my gage in hope of greater gain. 

Meanwhile she died, and should her brothers die ? 

I would return to work ! My fevered brain 

Seemed peopled by the phantoms of the grave, 

As, running wildly to the drinking-hall 

Where were the men, I burst into their midst, 

And cried, in tones that reached the ears of all : 

" I go to work you hear ? My child is dead 

Starved by the Strike 1 Your work you killed my child ! 

The rest will die, I go to save their lives 

I choose to work !" My words all hurried, wild, 

Rang through the hall. All, silent, stood around ; 

But one man spoke : " Coward !" he cried aloud. 

Coward ! My eyes discerned above the throng 

My murdered daughter in her infant shroud, 

And her hand beckoned ! Coward ! then my veins 

Stood out like cords, as with quick, hard-drawn breath : 

" So be it, then," I cried ; " their blood is yours 

11 1 will network : I give my boys to death !" 

. . . . The man, who'd spoken, laughed ! My murderous glance 

Espied there lying on the board a knife. 

I seized it, hissing through my clenched teeth : 

" Her death was yours ; as ours, I claim your life !" j 

A sudden stab a cry from those around 

He fell a lifeless thud upon the floor, 

While, through a veil of blood, I saw HER face, 

Avenged, my child ! avenged for evermore ! 

.... Then, as the men, half-shrinking, gathered in, 

As though expectant I should seek to fly : 

" Leave me," I said, " I will accuse myself, 

" Condemn"myself, and then rejoicing die !" 

M. E. W. 

342 THE THE A 1 RE. [JUNE r, 1883. 

Letters of Mademoiselle Rachel. 


FT would be rather hard on the interpreters of Melpomene if 
* they considered themselves bound to maintain their assumed 
character off the stage as well as on it, and were consequently 
denied the privilege of exchanging their tragedy tones for the 
ordinary accents of everyday life. Mrs. Siddons might, perhaps, 
have accommodated herself to such a regimen, and probably did, 
if the " will it wash ?" anecdote may be relied on as authentic ; 
and a similar example might be cited in the person of Madame 
Dorval, on the authority of the novelist Mrs. Isabella Romer, who 
told me many years ago that, happening to meet the celebrated 
actress at a Marseilles table d'hote, she was warned by her on no 
account to taste the eggs, the advice being given with an intense 
sepulchral bathos which, my informant assured me, literally made 
her shudder. 

Not so Mdlle. Rachel. Once out of sight of the audience, she 
was no longer Roxane or Camille, but as thoroughly domestic a 
bonrgeoise as her operatic colleague Madame Dorus Gras now 
planning a donkey party to Montmorency, now meditating the 
confection of some " petit plat canaille" for supper. Alfred de 
Musset tells us, in his " Souper chez Mdlle. Rachel," how, after 
substituting for her usual attire a dressing-gown with a silk hand- 
kerchief round her head, she invited him, together with her mother 
and her eldest sister Sarah,* to partake of her evening meal, con- 
sisting of three tough beefsteaks cooked by herself, a salad, and a 
huge dish of spinach, to which all present, with the exception of 
Sarah, who objected to two-pronged forks, did ample justice. 
This was at the commencement of her career, when the Felix 
family occupied a small apartment in the Passage Vero-Dodat ; 
but even in after years, when luxuriously installed in her charming 
Hotel Trudon, her simple mode of life underwent no change. She 

* Subsequently an actress of moderate ability at the Oddon. Unlike her 
more talented sister, she was extremely stout, and on the occasion of a fancy 
ball given by Rachel in the Rue Trudon, made her appearance there en bergcrc, 
and asked her hostess what she thought of her costume. " Well," said Rachel, 
trying hard to restrain a smile, " if you wish me to say candidly what I think, you 
look like a shepherdess who has eaten all her sheep." 


abhorred ceremony, and was never so happy as when, surrounded 
by her own familiar circle, she felt herself at liberty to put aside 
what she laughingly termed her " tragedy airs," and give full scope 
to that natural gaiety and keen sense of the humorous with which 
those alone who knew her intimately would have been disposed to 
credit her. 

By way of illustrating this particular side of her character, it has 
struck me that a few extracts from her correspondence, selected 
from various sources, published and unpublished, may not be found 
uninteresting. Some of these have appeared in Jules Janin's ex- 
haustive memorial of the great actress, two or three are taken 
from autograph catalogues, and most of the remainder from the 
originals, which either have been or still are in my possession. 
The first specimen, written at the age of fourteen, is a note ad- 
dressed to St. Aulaire, of the Theatre Frangais, a. very second-rate 
actor, but an excellent elocutionary master, under whose tuition 
the youthful Rachel had commenced her dramatic education. She 
afterwards received instruction from Samson and Michelot. 

"July 8, 1835. 

" MY GOOD PROFESSOR, Will you pardon me if I miss my 
lesson to-day ? I have been to the Bois de Boulogne, and as I 
felt very tired, mamma made me take a bath, and since breakfast 
I have been in bed. Please answer this, and do not scold me, for 
indeed I cannot come. 


Five years later (April 8, 1840) she writes to her mother in the 
following ultra-ceremonious style : 

" I beg Madame Felix kindly to lend my sister Sarah my lace 
handkerchief. By so doing, she will infinitely oblige the under- 
signed, who has devoted her life to her for the last nineteen 

" Believe me, Madame, your sincerely affectionate 


Shortly after her first appearance at the Comedie Frangaise, 
M. Buloz, then manager of the theatre, having written to remind 
her (on NewYe&r's Day) that her presence that evening in the 

* Her usual signature at this period, her baptismal names being Elisabeth 

344 THE THEATRE. [JUNE i, 1883. 

" ceremonie" at the close of the " Bourgeois Gentilhomme" was in- 
dispensable, received in reply her assurance that she would be 
punctual, with the subjoined postscript : 

" I have done all I can to get rid of my New Year's Day 
visitors, but the more I send away, the more arrive. I suppose I 
ought to have admitted no one ; but I am still too young to refuse 
the chance of being offered bon-bons, more especially as they only 
come once a year." 

In the summer of 1842, Rachel and Bouffe were both starring 
at Brussels ; and the latter, anxious to secure her valuable co- 
operation on the night fixed for his benefit, wrote to her to that 
effect, and records, in his entertaining " Reminiscences," the fol- 
lowing affirmative answer : 

" I send you, my dear Bouffe, a gigantic YES. I could not 
reply earlier to your letter, as I received it in my dressing-room, 
where I had no means of writing. I am delighted to prove to 
you how proud I shall be to contribute, however slightly, to the 
success of one of your performances at Brussels. 


" P.S. Mind, it must be your benefit, and not that of the 
managers ; so pray allow me to settle the matter with them. 
There must be no deductions on the score of expenses : half the 
gross receipts must be yours. Let me arrange it for you, I 
entreat I have just returned from the theatre. A good night 
and pleasant dreams for both of us !" 

" On this occasion," says Bouffe, " Rachel played two acts of 
'Andromaque' more admirably than ever. The receipts were 
enormous, and my share amounted to three thousand francs. 
She seemed to be even more gratified than I was by this fortunate 

The next extract from a letter addressed (about I 844) to Des- 
noyers, stage-manager of the Comedie Francaise, is altogether of a 
different nature, and refers to one of the disputes constantly arising 
between the actress and the administrative committee : 

" I never promised M. Buloz to play ' Phedre ;' first, because he 
never asked me to do so, and, secondly, because, as he very well 
knew, I was anxious to play ' Catherine' (by Hippolyte Romand). 
However, I will not disappoint the committee, and shall be glad, 


on the contrary, of an opportunity of showing that, notwithstand- 
ing the discourteous treatment 1 have lately experienced, I do all 
in my power to be useful to the theatre and my comrades. You 
may, therefore, announce ' Phedre.' " 

To the same, February 29, 1848 : 

" My medical attendant, having seen in the bills the announce- 
ment of my reappearance next Wednesday, absolutely forbids my 
doing so until the six weeks of rest prescribed by him have 
expired." Above is written, in Desnoyers' hand, u The illness is 
a fiction. Mdlle. Rachel's object is simply, by not playing, to 
force M. Buloz to send in his resignation." (Almost immediately 
after, M. Buloz was succeeded in the management by the drama- 
tist Lockroy.) 

The three following letters, written at various dates, form part of 
her correspondence with her mother : 

" The last week has been a very fatiguing one, but I have got 
through it admirably : two performances of ' Catherine' and one 
of ' Horace,' for the anniversary of Corneille. Thank Heaven, it 
is over now, and everybody is satisfied manager, public, and I ; 
so it is only fair that we should enjoy ourselves a little. Consider 
yourself invited to a picnic in the forest, exactly as we used to 
have years ago, when things were not so flourishing as they are 
now ! My share of the work will consist in putting on an apron, 
frying the potatoes, and laying the cloth. Yours will be to warm 
up the soup. 


"St. Petersburg (1854). 

" DEAR MOTHER, Yesterday for my benefit I played Camille 
and Lesbie. My success, or rather triumph, was complete ; their 
Imperial Majesties were present. Impossible to count the 
bouquets thrown to me ; as for recalls, the exact number was 
seven hundred thousand. The Grand Duchess Helene sent me a 
magnificent Turkish shawl ; ah, Madame Felix, how well that 
shawl will look on your shoulders ! They want me to come back 
next winter, but I promise nothing, although I have quite made 
up my mind never to return to the Theatre Fran^ais, even if they 
offered me a hundred thousand francs for six months. And, yet, 
I feel that it will be a severe blow to me to leave the public to 
whom I have owed so much for the last sixteen years !" 


34<5 THE THE A TRE. [JUNE i, 1883. 

" New York (no date). 

" DEAR MOTHER, My health has never been better. Were I, 
even at the close of my American trip, to lose all the money I 
have gained, I should not complain, if I continued as well as I am 
at this moment. Kiss my dear children for me. If I were not 
so fond of the Russians as I am, I should have been rejoiced to 
hear of the taking of Sebastopol." 

To her eldest son : 

" New York (no date). 

" I hope, my dear Alexandre, that while your little mother is 
making a collection of laurels and dollars in America, you will do 
her honour at the next examinations. Think how happy I shall 
be when I receive such welcome news. Gabriel (his brother) is 
still rather too young for me to talk about his studies, but his 
turn will come in time ; at least I hope so. Your little mother, 
who loves you both passionately, 


I do not think any of my readers will be disposed to quarrel 
with me for reserving as a final bonne bouchc the following extract 
from a letter which has been in my possession more than twenty 
years, addressed to Madame Samson, the wife of the celebrated 
actor-author of the Theatre Fran^ais, and dated from Interlaken, 
August 20, 1843 : 

" On arriving at the inn on the top of the Montanvert, we 
found assembled there quite a little society of genuine Parisians, 
fresh from the Passage de 1'Opera ; a stout individual, probably 
a stockbroker of the Bourse, and an habitual frequenter of the 
Varietes and the Cafe Anglais ; three young women in travelling 
costumes copied exactly from the Journal des Modes ; and two 
collegians, doubtless sent there to finish their education. One of 
the young women fancied she recognized me, for I heard her say, 
' How like she is to Rachel !' ' It is Rachel,' replied one of the 
collegians ; ' I saw her not long ago in " Phedre," and remember 
her face perfectly.' 'Pooh! pooh!' retorted the customer of 
the Cafe Anglais, ' Rachel is not half so pretty as that charming 
tourist !' I pass over the discussion that ensued, and grew so 
warm that it could only terminate in a serious dispute or a bet ; 
the latter alternative was chosen, but you will never guess what 
they agreed to wager a leg of mutton ! 

JUNE r, 1883.] PL A YS IN PARIS. 347 

"The ingenious stockbroker, having volunteered to undertake 
the solution of the mystery, imagined the following (as he thought) 
infallible method of penetrating my incognito ; we had left the 
inn, and, supported by the guides, were traversing, not without 
misgiving, the Mer de Glace, when just as I had safely crossed a 
fissure in the ice, I found myself face to face with him. For a 
moment he seemed at a loss how to begin, but presently recovering 
himself, uttered, by way of soliloquy, this insidious phrase : ' Nature 
and art, both are admirable !' 'If she is Rachel,' he probably 
reflected, ' she will be agreeably flattered by the exquisite delicacy 
of the compliment, and unable to conceal her satisfaction.' As 
things were, being far more intent on keeping my footing than on 
listening to what he was saying, I took no notice, and walked 
quietly on without even turning my head ; upon which, rejoining 
his friends, he exclaimed, ' You see, it is not Rachel, and I have 
won my bet !' Not wishing, however, that the loss of so important 
a wager should be incurred by the wrong person, and contriving 
to return to the inn before the others did, I asked for the 
strangers' book, and settled the question as follows in my very 
best handwriting: 'Pay the leg of mutton, Monsieur, I am 
Rachel.' " 

Plays in Paris. 

\T 7" HEN the Saxe-Meiningen Company were performing at 
* * Drury Lane, one of the principal actors told me the 
following anecdote : "An artist belonging to our first theatre in 
Germany went a few months ago on a starring engagement to 
one of the score of small capitals of the empire. After the first 
performance the sovereign of the diminutive State addressed the 
player, whom he had condescended to receive in his box, some 
flattering remarks that seemed to forebode a more distinctive 
tribute of his admiration, seeing that His Highness disposes of a 
downright menagerie of eagles, falcons, bears, and other heraldic 
animals, so much appreciated by the followers of Thespis. 

" Anyhow, the comedian having performed for three consecu- 
tive nights without perceiving any nearer realization of his secret 
wishes, began to grow impatient, and resolved to shake from his 
feet the dust of so ungrateful a town. 

A A 2 

348 THE THEATRE. [JUNE r, 1883. 

" The next morning, having ordered an open carriage, he drove 
to the station, after having told the driver to pass, on his way 
thither, before the palace of His Serene Highness. 

" It was just the hour when the latter was in the habit of 
taking his constitutional under the verandah, in company with 
his chamberlain. Perceiving the artist, who did not look particu- 
larly pleased, in the distance, His Highness turned towards his 

companion, ' What is the matter with Herr ; he seems to be 

going?' he asked. The courtier's answer was a mute one, a piece 
of dumb show merely. He pointed to his button-hole, smiling a 
kind of feeble diplomatic smile. 

" 'Is that all ?' replied His Highness. ' Quick, Herr Ritter ; go 
and fetch me an Order from my cabinet.' In another moment 
the courtier returned with a small box. As the artist was driving 
by, the Prince hailed him, and without leaving him time to alight, 
threw the box into his lap. ' If you must be going, take this as 
a remembrance ; and a pleasant journey to you.' 

"The actor tried to stammer a few words of thanks, and con- 
tinued his journey. But scarcely had he gone a dozen yards 
when His Highness perceived him making frantic signs. ' What's 
the matter ?' shouts the Prince. ' Serenissimo, there are two/ 
comes the answer. ' Never mind,' yells back the generous Prince ; 
'give the other one to the coachman.' " 

I shall add no remark of my own about the value one attaches, 
under the circumstances, to M. Delaunay's receiving the ribbon 
of the Legion of Honour, or to his change of mind with regard 
to his retirement from the stage of the Comedie Fran9aise. Yes 
I will, though. It reminds me of a country manager playing 
Hamlet, for his own benefit in his own theatre, and insisting 
upon altering all the false exits into real ones, in order to heighten 
the illusion. 

"Look here upon this picture and on this." Whilst M, 
Delaunay was being decorated and congratulated, and being gene- 
rally soft-sawdered and flattered by the Parisian press, Georges 
Bizet's old father was sitting childless at the premiere of the revival 
of the masterpiece of his son, and who, Vapereau will tell you, died 
at the age of thirty-six from the consequences of a chill. Of a 
chill decidedly. But it is doubtful whether the sudden variation 

JUNE i, 1883.] PL A YS IN PARIS. 349 

of the temperature caused the death of the composer of " Carmen" 
half so much as the blowing hot and cold in the same breath of 
those Parisian critics who, in 1875, refused to acknowledge what 
they now so loudly proclaim, namely, the beauties of a score 
which the whole of musical Europe has hailed ere now as the 
work of a young and ill-fated genius. 

"Thus after death, if shades can feel, 
Thou mayest, from incense round thee streaming, 
A sense of past enjoyment steal, 
And live again in blissful dreaming." 

That's the text, in spirit if not in substance, from which the 
Parisian press has been preaching, to atone for their neglect 
during his lifetime of the brave and noble fellow at whom they 
flung Society's primal curse of originality to whom they said by 
word and deed, " Triest thou to be a Mozart, and be famous at 
thirteen, to gain the prix de Rome at eighteen, to write an opera 
at twenty ? then we will treat thee as the Prince of Cassel treated 
thine idol, make thy life a burden to thee." And poor Bizet took 
the hint and died, as did his great exemplar, in his thirty-sixth 

The Channel has long ceased to exist with regard to dramatic 
literature, and English playwrights seldom pride themselves upon 
originality of construction. Not so the French, but their ccn- 
.struction generally takes the form of a ladder wherewith to enter 
their fellow craftsmen's I had nearly written cracksmen's pre- 
mises. The most flagrant case at present is M. Albert's " Pere 
Ie Martial," produced on the 2Oth of April at the Gymnase. 
JSTot one of the Paris critics has drawn attention to it, though 


41 Le Pere de Martial," however, is nothing more or less than a 
clever but a very clever plagiary of " L'Honneur de la Maison," 
brought out some thirty years ago, and from which Sardou took 
his " Vieux Gargons." The original was performed some seven 
-or eight years ago at the Princess's, under the management of 
MM. Valnay and Pitron, with Marie Laurent in the principal 
'Character, and an adaptation was produced at the Court some two 
years ago. But once this fact having been disposed of, " Le Pere 
de Martial" deserves nothing but praise. The rebuilding of the 
old material is a charming piece of work, containing a succes- 

350 THE THEATRE. [JUNE i, 1883. 

sion of dramatic scenes and incidents that make one regret all 
the more that M. Delpit should not have sought a more original 
theme. The acting is excellent. Landrol alone is worth a 
journey to Paris. His portrayal of the deeply injured and 
generous husband is absolutely perfect. 

" La Vie Facile," a comedy in three acts, by MM. Alberic 
Second and Paul Ferrier, produced at the Vaudeville on the 
1 9th of May, did not seem to me to contain the elements of a 
lasting success. The motive is without interest and too slight 
The dialogue is very witty. It is difficult, however, to judge on 
a first night in Paris, especially where the author or authors are 
celebrities of the press. The piece has been so puffed that the 
impartial critic is apt to get angry with the mountain bringing 
forth a mouse. I doubt, however, whether M. Second's col- 
leagues will be able to magnify the mouse into an elephant. 

You may expect to hear Leo Delibe's " Lakme," and Felicien 
David's " Perle du Bresil," in London next winter. Mr. Carl 
Rosa was here at the end of May, and I hear that the negotiations 
he began are likely to terminate successfully . 

The remainder of my news is of no importance : " L'As de 
Trefle" has been replaced at the Ambigu by the ever welcome 
" Bouquetiere du Marche des Innocents." The Palais-Royal has 
five one-act pieces, neither of which is a success, two being great 
failures. The five farces owe their origin to ten authors, who are 
generally behind at first nights. The stage being very small, you 
may imagine the effect. It is a pity they do not come at | other 
occasions, for should any hostile demonstration in front take 
place which is not at all unlikely, seeing the rubbish which the 
managers have lately dished up they might effectually organize 
a counter demonstration. You may remember a passage in the 
Life of Macready, where he tells you that the house contained one 
or three spectators who began hissing ; whereupon the actors 
followed suit, and routed the audience. There is nothing new 
under the sun. Dickens' " No Thoroughfare " holds the bill at 
the Gaiete, and M. Fechter's widow payed an eloquent tribute 

JUNE i, 1883.] PL A YS JN PARIS. 351 

the other day to the great Englishman's generosity. The French, 
however, did not believe it. Generosity is the last thing they are 
likely to believe in. 

The revival of Felicien David's " Perle du Brasil," at the Opera 
Comique (i6th May) has brought to the fore Mdlle. de Nevada, 
an American cantatrice, who has met with great favour in Italy. 
Seeing that they dare not vent their spite upon Mdlle. Van Zandt, 
the critics must naturally look for another victim of their 
Anglophobia. Being unable to find any fault with Mdlle. de 
Nevada's method or voice, they accuse her of an atrocious 
English accent. A sample of their generosity. 


A PLEASANT picture ! 'neath the arching trees, 
jLJL Whose kissing boughs brought shade to sunny land, 

And framed by trailing rose on either hand, 
She stood, her soft hair waving in the breeze 
A very cloud about her ; while her eyes, 

More tender than an infant's dawning smile, 

Half dreaming, innocent of guile, 
Vied in their colour with the skies. 

The poet-mouth, unpressed by kisses warm, 
Just parted, in a smile of pure delight 
That Life was Life, so glorious, so bright, 

And nothing recking of an after-storm. 
I, standing there, all hid from mortal ken, 

Felt 'twould be sacrilege to break her calm. 

Unconscious happiness is Nature's psalm ; 
I turned, and left her with one low amen ! 

M. E. W. 

352 THE THEATRE. JUNE i, ,883. 


TV /T AY is perhaps not the most musical month, in the sense 
*- of mere quantity, of the London season ; but it is in- 
variably rendered interesting by entertainments of excellent 
quality, first productions of positive or comparative novelties, and 
numerous debuts of native and foreign executant artists. The 
operatic stars of the first magnitude do not rise upon our metro- 
politan horizon until June, when monster concerts set in with 
overwhelming severity, and the luckless musical chronicler, fairly 
dazed with " concourse of sweet sounds," is compelled to acknow- 
ledge that a time-worn proverb nevertheless and notwithstand- 
ing one may have a great deal too much of a good thing. May 
is expeiimental and tentative; June, so crowded with "accom- 
plished facts," that it leaves nothing to be desired except a little 
repose some slight surcease of delectation. Under so wayward 
a climatic dispensation as ours, moreover, it is a physical privilege 
to take refuge from piercing winds, chilling snowfalls, pattering 
hail, and all the other angry intemperances of May, in a cosy 
concert-room or well- warmed opera-house, were it only to 
luxuriate in a genial atmosphere and contemplate human features 
unpinched by cold, unracked by the throes of neuralgia ; 
whereas the instinct of self-preservation prompts even the most 
inveterate fanatico per la musica to shun confinement, in say 
St. James's Hall or Covent Garden Theatre, during the stuffy 
afternoons and close evenings of June. A certain measure of 
personal comfort is indispensable to the full enjoyment of a 
musical or dramatic performance, no matter how good the latter 
may be in itself; and such comfort is without doubt more readily 
attainable in winter than in summer. The English May being, 
as a rule, an able and spirited revival of winter, is consequently 
the most comfortable month wherein to partake of musical re- 
refreshment in London, seeing that the unwritten laws of fashion 
condemn us to take our indoor pleasures during the outdoor sea- 
son, and vice versa. 

Last month supplied the musical public of this capital with 
abundance of enjoyment, more plentifully, however, in the con- 

JUNE i, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL-BOX. 353 

cert than in the operatic line. The Covent Garden programme 
was on the whole a tame one, and the performances were strictly 
in keeping with the programme. Such operas as " Trovatore" 
and " Rigoletto" must still be favourites of a certain class of 
well-to-do British music-lovers, or the management of our sole 
surviving Italian opera-house would not persist in reproducing 
them, year after year ; but it is unquestionable that the demand 
for performances of those works has steadily fallen off for some 
considerable time past, and that Italian opera, pur et simple, is en 
decadence here as well as abroad. People no longer throng the 
theatre to listen to the music of Rossini, Donizetti, and Verdi for its 
own sake, as formerly. A star of uncommon brilliancy will always 
draw full houses, of course, let the musical medium in which that 
luminary pleases to display itself be what it may. Adelina Patti's 
name in the bill invariably proves an irresistible attraction, however 
trivial or hackneyed the music committed to her inimitable inter- 
pretation. But, lacking other magnets of such paramount force 
as hers, Mr. Gye revels but rarely in that acme of managerial 
bliss, that is " turning away money," and, as a matter of fact, fails 
to find that support on the part of the paying public which alone 
can render even so short an operatic season as that of 1883 a 
remunerative enterprise. To me, I confess, the prospects of Italian 
Opera as an institution in this country seem less hopeful than 
ever this year. The greatest of living prime-donne, finding that 
she can make as much money as she requires during an annual 
winter tour in the United States, is not unnaturally disinclined to 
break up her summer term of rest in order to sing in London for 
about a quarter of the sum per performance that she earns on the 
other side of the Atlantic. The results of her amazing pecuniary 
success in America are unfavourable to the Gye-Mapleson com- 
bination here, but by no means unnaturally so. Hitherto, for 
twenty-one years past, she has sung on an average a score or so 
of times each season at Covent Garden ; this year she will only 
sing six times ; next year, in all probability, not at all. What, I 
would ask, may fairly be considered the probable outlook of a 
London operatic impresa bereft of its sheet-anchor the only canta- 
trice of the day, speaking frankly, that the great paying public is 
unanimously desirous to listen to ? Is it not a notorious fact, that 
but for the money taken whenever she has appeared for several 

354 THE THEATRE. [JUNE i, 1883, 

years past, the Royal Italian Opera would ere this have ceased to 
be ? She I should not be far wrong in saying, she alone has 
brought grist to the Covent Garden mill, although her rate of 
remuneration, from a managerial point of view, no doubt, has 
been very high. But a singer, in reality, is cheap at 200 a night 
who can bring four times that amount into the treasury ; whilst 
another, about whom the public does not care, is extravagantly 
dear at 5 o a week. From these elementary calculations it may 
be inferred that if Adelina Patti be deducted from the sum total 
of Covent Garden "attractions" for the 1884 operatic season, the 
artistic remainder will not yield a large balance of profit to the 
R. I. O. Company (Limited). Italian opera has enjoyed a long- 
lease of popularity in this country. That lease has nearly expired, 
in the natural course of things. Should it, by the will of the 
British public, be transferred to English opera, or to opera of any 
and every nationality, rendered in our vernacular, I, for one, shall 
manage to survive the change, and even to display a decent cheer- 
fulness of demeanour. The Carl Rosa performances of the lyric 
drama, native or foreign, are in many respects better than those 
given at Covent Garden ; and the English Opera Company 
appears to me the natural inheritor of an institution that has 
outlived its raison d'etre, and exhibits significant symptoms of 
approaching dissolution. 

Hans Richter opened his seventh " Cyklus" of orchestral con- 
certs on Monday, May 7th, in the presence of an audience, 
including several members of the Royal Family, such as only the 
great Viennese Kapellmeister can draw together. The first part 
of the programme was a noble tribute of homage to Wagner's 
memory, consisting of a deeply interesting selection from his 
works, inimitably conducted and played. Especially noteworthy 
was the " Faust Overture," but seldom performed in this country 
a mystic and deeply impressive work, in which the contrast 
between good and evil, and the struggles of those principles for 
mastery over a weak human soul, are alike forcibly and subtly 
described in sound. Far from being a specimen of Wagner's 
" endless melody" manner, it is remarkable for its strict observance 
of " form," whilst teeming with ingenious instrumental contrivance. 
It terminates with a beautiful phrase curiously resembling that 
with which Mendelssohn opened and closed his immortal " Mid- 

JUNE i, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL-BOX. 355 

summer Night's Dream" Overture. " Faust" was followed by the 
reverent and touching Introduction to " Parsifal/' rendered in a 
manner above all praise. In his treatment of the " Grail Theme'' 
(also faintly suggestive of the " Sommernachtstraum" motiv above 
alluded to) a rich display of his extraordinary fertility in contrasts 
and combinations of tone-quality was made by the deceased com- 
poser. It is introduced with an imposing blare of brass-trumpets 
and trombones, then taken up by violins alia sordina, then again 
by the full string band, treating it canon-wise and eventually 
receiving increment of strength from the brass quartette only, with 
a strange mellowness of result quite baffling description. The 
" Hymn of Faith," succeeding the " Grail Theme," is a sublime 
and profoundly affecting expression of devotional feeling. It 
never fails to stir the hearts of those who hear it with holy awe, or 
to unlock the floodgates of their tears. A more striking con- 
trast to the sad, unearthly, sacrificial strains of " Parsifal" could 
not have been afforded than the sensuous passionate prelude to 
" Tristan and Isolde," culminating (in the Richter arrangement) in 
the Death Song, than which nothing more contagiously emotional 
exists in music. The commemorative portion of the first concert 
concluded with a magnificent rendering of Siegfried's Dead 
March (Goetterdaemmerung), probably the finest musical resume 
of a life-drama that ever emanated from human genius. 

The second Richter Concert took place on Thursday, May loth, 
and the error of giving two such important musical entertain- 
ments in one week was only too convincingly demonstrated 
by a regretable plurality of empty seats. Works by five com- 
posers were included in the programme, the principal novelty 
of which was Brahms' Concerto for Violin and Orchestra 
(opus 77), the solo instrument being played by Adolph Brodsky, 
a vigorous violinist trained in the Vienna Conservatoire, and 
introduced to the London public last summer by Hans Richter. 
This Concerto, in common with all the compositions of Brahms, 
exhibits extraordinary constructive cleverness, and abounds in 
brief melodic episodes of unquestionable beauty, but is, on the 
whole, fatiguing to the ear by reason of the laboured elaborateness 
with which its themes are worked out, combined, and set off one 
against another. To do justice to Brahms' amazing ingenuity 
one is compelled to give such anxious attention to unnumbered 

356 THE THEATRE, [JUNE i, 1883. 

details of contrivance, that distress, or at at least weariness, is the 
inevitable result, instead of enjoyment. He is so nearly a genius, 
and so undeniably a great musical capacity, that his works can- 
not but inspire wonder and admiration, but of the sort accorded 
to marvels of mechanism rather than to chefs-d'oeuvre of art. 
Gems of the first water are not lacking in his Concerto ; but he 
seems to grudge them their intrinsic brilliancy, and to joy in 
obscuring it by eccentric and cumbersome settings. Again, every 
now and then as though conscious of this disagreeable proclivity 
he strains at simplicity and only achieves tameness, e.g. y in the 
opening theme of the second movement, which, however, con- 
cludes with some very tender and touching phrases. The Con- 
certo was ably, and, above all, powerfully played by Mr. Brodsky, 
who was perfectly successful in grappling with and vanquishing 
its tremendous technical difficulties, sometimes executed, however, 
at the expense of correctness of intonation. The finale (allegro 
giocoso) is indeed a terrible ordeal for a violinist, the solo part 
being in great part written in chords, the effect of which, when 
played well (a rare feat) in rapid succession on the fiddle, is 
always more or less trivial and feeble when played badly, little 
less than distracting to the cultivated ear. The " Tannhiiuser" 
Overture, supplemented by the wildly exciting " Venusberg" ballet- 
music, rendered with extraordinary verve and furia by Richter's 
glorious orchestra, and Raff's delightful " Im Walde" Symphony, 
constituted the remaining salient features of a concert which fully 
sustained the well-won reputation of leader and instrumentalists 
alike. Miss Orridge, whose voice and delivery have greatly im- 
proved since last I heard her, sang the famous recitative and air 
from Gluck's " Orfeo," " Che faro senza Euridice," very well, and 
was rewarded by hearty and protracted applause from an audience 
which atoned for its paucity of numbers by abundant appreciative- 
ness, at once judicious and enthusiastic. 

Amongst the most memorable incidents of the past month in 
connection with chamber-music, was the appearance on the 
concert-platform of M. Vladimir de Pachmann, a Russian pianist, 
and the debut in London of Signorina Teresina Tua, a youthful 
Italian violinist both artists of no common merit. In M. dc 
Pachmann the musical world is at length fortunate enough to 
possess an interpreter of Chopin absolutely unrivalled amongst 

JUNE i, 1883.] OUR MUSICAL-BOX. 357 

contemporary executants of that gifted composer's pianoforte 
works. I have heard Liszt, Rubinstein, Clara Schumann, Annette 
EssipofT, JosefTy, and a score of other great pianists, play Chopin ; 
but all their renderings (each excelling in some marked speciality) 
lacked a something which that of M. de Pachmann possesses, and 
which I can only designate as " Chopinesqueness," hoping to be 
forgiven for the barbarism. I was never so fortunate as to listen 
to the inimitable Frederic himself ; but I feel that he must have 
played his compositions exactly as M. de Pachmann plays them. 
Signorina Tua is a truly wonderful young lady an accomplished 
musician at an unusually early age, completely mistress of all the 
technical resources of her instrumen